Building a Good Day


“One of the secrets of a happy life is continuous small treats.” ~ Iris Murdoch

I have been reading Women Rowing North by Mary Pipher. (Thank you Jennifer Laffin- for the recommendation!)

The book’s subtitle ‘Navigating Life’s Currents and Flourishing as We Age.’ really caught my eye. When I turned 60 in the fall, I found myself vascillating between feeling afraid and feeling fearless, between not giving a damn and giving it my all, between being at the end of my story or on the cusp of some new adventure. I knew I wasn’t ready to wither, but I wasn’t sure if I would still be able to flourish.

That brings me back to Chapter 10. I have only read a few pages so far, but the following lines really stuck out to me. “Building a good day is about making good choices involving our emotions, thinking, and behavior. ” “it’s possible to do a mental reset by asking ourselves what we are looking forward to and what we are grateful for.” It is not that I have never heard of these things before, but these words did make me stop and re-evaluate how well I utilize these techniques.

What am I looking forward to? Here are just a few of my “small treats”:

Spending time with my grandchildren – Easter egg hunts, sleepovers, cookie baking, block building, coloring, giggling, hugs, & kisses.

Concerts – The William Tennent Jazz Ensemble under the direction of my son, The Golden Boys, and just turning up my car radio with the sunroof open.

Summer – more time to read & write, teaching a grad class, morning tea on the deck, evening sunsets and card games.

I will certainly be adding to my list as I spend more time actively thinking about what I am looking forward to rather than just letting things sneak up on me.

I am building a good day today because I chose to focus on the fact that I don’t need my cane even though there are bouts of stiffness and little aches and pains, on the fact that it is a sunny day even though it started out with clouds, and that because I am in the midst of standardized testing which is never pleasant I don’t have any work to take home tonight.

What about you? Are you building a good day today?

15 thoughts on “Building a Good Day

  1. Sounds like a great book. I really like the idea that we can create our own good days by living and thinking a little more intentionally. Now I’m going to be thinking about what my own good days look like–and how I can have more of them!

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  2. I love this and think I need to get this book. You’ve definitely left me thinking about how to build a good day and really think about what I’m looking forward to. I’m not sure I really give that enough attention. Thank you for sharing

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  3. Your lead paragraph is terrific! I especially like this line: “I knew I wasn’t ready to wither, but I wasn’t sure if I would still be able to flourish.” I also liked your title and the emphasis on building a good day–it’s not passive, you actively work at it! Great slice!

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  4. Thanks for sharing… I must take a look at this book. I started a “purposeful page” list this March as I’ve been reading so many slices.. pages for my journal, i.e., grateful page, wondering page. Now I’m adding an anticipation page — What am I looking forward to?

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  5. Love this line: “I knew I wasn’t ready to wither, but I wasn’t sure if I would still be able to flourish.” I can identify with your mental predicament, as I feel this way often. Sounds like the book could provide some positive growth and tools. Thanks for this post!

    Liked by 1 person

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