by Darrin Schenck

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by Darrin Schenck

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Is this what you consider a good day? Most people would probably say yes, as we all dream of a leisurely life without a care in the world. But that wasn’t really the direction I was headed with my question. It shouldn’t take something to this level to have you appreciate time spent in a day. I would label the picture to the right as indicative of a GREAT day for the average person, myself included.
What I am getting at though is your appreciation (gratitude, if you prefer that word) of a “normal” good day. I had one yesterday, which was a Friday, and that I’ll use as an example. When you read this, you’re going to think it is boring and lacking anything special, and in some ways that is kind of the point.
I woke up around 6:00AM as usual, and got up and into my usual morning routine. I showered, brushed my teeth, got dressed and headed to the kitchen. I made my Athletic Greens drink and headed down the hall to my home office. I had some emails to answer and other things to tend to for work, and so I did this right away. I scratched a bunch of things off of my To Do list first thing in my day. I was done with all of the aforementioned items by 7:45. My next stop was the coffee shop right by my house. The seat at the table in the far right corner practically has my name on it; it should anyway, with the amount of time I spend there. I ordered my usual hot Chai tea and grabbed a chocolate muffin off the counter, two of my favorite indulgences.
I put on my noise canceling headphone and settled in for a writing session. I finished up a blog post from the day before and cranked out another that I really liked. I spent about 90 minutes there, most of it spent head down, writing away and listening to one of my all time favorite songs that I had forgotten about until I ran across another of the band’s songs on Spotify. If you’re curious, here is the link to the song and video on YouTube. The song is Caroline by Concrete Blonde. I listen to this on repeat for over an hour; while I know that may sound a little strange, I find it very meditative. I do this often, playing one song over and over to stay in a certain mindset or feeling that the song helps create. I find it quite conducive to the writing process.
After this, I went home and made breakfast. I sat down in front of my work computer again and get back to the things that needed my attention. I have contracts to review, calls to return and the usual work stuff. I worked uninterrupted until 11:55, when my reminder alarm sounded. I quickly shifted gears and got ready to do a podcast interview with someone. It was a very engaging conversation, and I really enjoyed it. It lasted right about an hour as planned, and as soon as I finished I texted my friend from work that I was leaving to meet her for lunch. We met at our favorite pizza place, close the the office we used to go to every day. During the COVID pandemic, we are of course working from home, so we miss seeing each other on a daily basis. We make sure we meet once a week to catch up on business stuff as well as hang out and enjoy each other’s company.
After we were done, I went home and checked my inbox one last time. A few things had rolled in and I got them taken care of fairly quickly. I logged off, and shut down my work computer for the weekend. I grabbed my six pound little mutt of a dog and headed to the park nearby. He is a hairy little rat dog my wife and I rescued recently, and he loves going to the park and running around. It was 75 degrees that afternoon; not atypical for a Phoenix winter day. But this was the first in a while, and lots of people were out enjoying it. We spent a good hour there, and finally headed home to get dinner ready. My wife would be home from her job soon, and I like to have everything ready when she walks in the door.
When she arrived, we talked about her day and mine as we ate dinner. She’s amazing, and reminds me of that in at least one of her recounts of her day as a nurse and what she deals with. After dinner we headed to the sauna and sat in the heat, sweating out the sins of the day. After that, a shower and getting ready for bed. She will be getting up at 4:30AM again tomorrow, so we lay in bed together and I play with her hair until she falls asleep. I watched my favorite show for a bit until I did the same. The end…
That was my good day.
Yes, I am serious about that. It sounds “normal” or “average” I guess. We did not spend all day on the beach together, it was just a fairly typical day.
But the difference is, I NOTICED.
I don’t always notice, despite trying to be aware more and more these days. But that day I did; when she asked me how my day was, I responded: it was great. And I meant it. I am at the point in my life where I have an appreciation for the simple pleasures in life. I don’t need a day at the beach, or anything else out of the ordinary to make me feel fortunate, grateful, and appreciative of the life I have.
My question for you is: Do you notice the good days? If not, what can you do to start being more grateful and appreciate the things that you have. No one’s life is perfect, despite what you see on social media. But if you woke up today, healthy and with a roof over your head and food in the fridge, you can (and should) count that as a good start. Don’t take those things for granted, despite how commonplace they may be for you. For others, this would be ALL it took for a GREAT day, due to their life’s circumstances. If that doesn’t apply to you, count your blessings.
My challenge for you is to get more gratitude into your life. Understand how many people around the world are living on a dollar a day, or dealing with a dying loved one, or a myriad of other very difficult circumstances. Any day that you don’t have these things front and center in your life, you need to be thankful. Whether you credit God, your parents, the Universe, whatever, you need to consciously express your gratitude. This is turn begets more days like this. I firmly believe a positive mindset and a heart of gratitude multiplies itself, but so does a negative one. This is a very important thing to keep in mind, and to act accordingly. Work on appreciating the little things, like the smile from a stranger, or watching kids at play. Understand how fortunate you are to be in a position in life that you have the means, time and ability to read this. Now, go forth and spread the word: Gratitude
 
I wish you luck in all of your endeavors.
 

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