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A Good Day

Happy New Year, 2024! In honor of the beginning of this new year, I offer you a fresh perspective on the days ahead. What makes a day a good day?

I've faced some truly excruciating trials, days when I stared death in the face and realized how fragile life is. I've also faced days when I thought the world was crashing in because I couldn’t meet a deadline or my laundry wasn’t done when I wanted to wear that special shirt. There's definitely a difference, and those darkest days help us appreciate the problems that don't quite compare. None of you have ever allowed laundry to undo you, right?

One day many years ago, I got frustrated over an assignment that couldn’t be completed without the input of colleagues who weren't cooperating. After work I called a friend to complain about what a bad day I was having. She listened to me for about 60 seconds and then told me to turn on the news.

In stunned silence, I watched the end of a report on foster parents who had just been arrested for terribly abusing the children in their “Christian” home. When the report ended, my friend quietly told me that she was the social worker who had trained those foster parents and placed the children in their care. She was responsible for overseeing them. She had no idea of the abuse taking place. There were no signs. She was devastated. Can you imagine?

I’ll never forget her words to me: “This is a bad day.”

That situation taught me a lot about perspective.

During one of my darker days, I longingly remembered some good days I’d had. I had good friends and an active social life, a good job with relative calm, and there were no major problems shaking my world. But as I looked back I realized that I hadn't fully enjoyed nor appreciated those days. I had allowed worry over something like that extra 20 pounds I wanted to lose to steal my joy.

That day I made a commitment to appreciate the good days. Using the perspective I'd learned, I decided to put aside temporary struggles and be thankful for the day I'd been given. I promised to declare good days GOOD. It doesn't always work, but I try to remember instead of getting overwhelmed by the challenges of life.

I make it a regular practice to stop in the middle of the day to evaluate how things are going. There's such joy in recognizing the good days when they come. I declare the day GOOD, thank God for it, and try to be fully present in each moment. Rather than missing the joy of that moment because I’m fretting over something I won’t remember in two weeks, I soak it in and use all five of my senses to enjoy it.

How long has it been since you had a good day? Take a moment to evaluate how often you let the temporary frustrations of a day steal your joy. Is today a GOOD day? Will you have a year full of good days?

sunset reflected rearview mirror
A Good Day!

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