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This post is part of my 2022 Word Project. You can read what that’s about here.

Thursday, October 19, 2023

I feel compelled to alleviate some of the first-world-problem agony that has become prevalent lately, particularly right here on this blog. Do not be fooled: the universe, all of technology and most of life still conspires, but today we will take a different approach.

As this streak of obnoxious and exhausting days continues, today I want to percolate on how to have a good day.

I also feel the need to make a list. Lists are the bottom of the barrel easiest thing to do. It’s why 98% of the internet is full of 7 ways to do this and 6 reasons not to do that. If I was being ungenerous I’d say it was the easiest way to phone this in.

But we’re being positive today so we’ll call it clever. Thus I bring you, Some Random Number Of Ways To Have A Good Day.

One. Plan a good dinner. If it involves bread that’s a bonus. Add dessert and you’ve practically reached nirvana.

We had friends over for dinner tonight which usually involves a whirling dervish amount of cleaning and explosion levels of cooking but I was a little smarter today and went with a chunk of pig in the slow cooker, which is hard to go wrong with, a super simple rice dish that I can make in my sleep, and a salad.

Sadly there was neither bread nor dessert but it was actually quite good and I got to feel virtuous about being healthy. Any day when there is something delicious on the menu is worth looking forward to.

How to have a good day two: don’t deal with technology.

I will allow myself to find a positive in the absence of a negative because in this case it works. No technology actually results in a good day. No things talking in your ears or flashing in your face. No contacts deleting themselves. No pictures copying themselves, no autocorrect insisting that you really want a cup of and.

Vacuuming was preferable to opening my computer this afternoon. Quite a lot more preferable. During dinner we had a lovely conversation with our friends, and nobody picked up a phone to check that one thing or look up that one movie.

In fact, they came bearing gifts, which included an adorable pad of paper. I sent them home in kind with my favorite pencil. We discussed our collective desire to be more analog and one of our friends confessed to re-learning cursive writing. It made me wonder if I’d remember how to do it.

I’m going to have a good day tomorrow by trying.

There are plenty of things I could do to have a good day that I can’t exactly do at whim. Like walk on a deserted beach on a fall day. I can’t fly off to Olema. I can’t lie on a couch in front of a fireplace in a cabin with fifteen cats on my lap and on my head and wherever fifteen cats would fit.

Those would result in a pretty good day but my goal for the moment is to stick to things that would realistically make a good day. Things I could do right this minute with almost no effort to have a good day.

Like going outside.

Assuming it’s not seventeen degrees or something, getting outside into the actual world, not a parking lot, not a street, not a grocery store, goes a long way to contributing to a good day. A park or a garden or, when desperate, a walk around the block where at least I can see grass and flowers and clouds.

Clouds are a good part of a good day. The thing about clouds is that it’s almost impossible to continue having a bad day when they are looking all puffy and magnificent in the sky.

Sometimes they make me mad because if I’m being all brooding and petulant they make it very difficult to continue being so.

This isn’t a very good list considering I gave up at two and then wrote three more things. Quite possibly one way to have a good day is to not care about following a made up rule or worry about how smart you sound. Quite possibly a good day would consist of tossing out the rules entirely and just doing what you want, even if it’s a Thursday. Especially if it’s a Thursday.

How to have a good day number something: stick little plastic cling decorations to your windows. The other day I decided I needed fall leaves on my windows so I bought some. Then I stuck them all over my windows and they look pretty and colorful and they please me immensely. There are worse things I could have done with five bucks.

Do you know what else is good for a good day? Balloons. It’s rather difficult to have a bad day if you have colorful balloons. Why don’t people think of buying balloons more often? As a result of writing this I may have done a crazy thing and went on Amazon and bought myself some fall colored balloons. For the next time I need to have a good day. There are worse things I could have done with seven bucks.

Having a good day is spending five or seven bucks on something completely ridiculous to make yourself happy and not feeling the least bit guilty about it.

Maybe this wasn’t a very good list but it was a great success and I’ve even managed to line up a few things to make more good days. All’s good that ends good, and that’s all there is to it.

Photo: another way to have a good day is to randomly stumble across a photo that makes no sense at all but decide to use it anyway, and then realize that it could serve as a good metaphor for avoiding sour grapes. In good news on our good day, these were quite sweet!