Engraving Our Heart
Ralph Waldo Emerson once said,
Write it on your heart that every day is the best day in the year.
I think Emerson’s comment above is a great one for engraving on our heart. Every day IS the best day in the year. There will be days, of course, when we can’t make that happen. But in general, every day should be the best day in the year. That’s what we have is today – today to live, to love, to enjoy our life. No matter how crummy the day, something good happened at some point, from a random act of kindness to an unexpected blessing.
At the beginning of 2011, I used an exercise in my journals that asked these four questions each day:
- What was the best part of today?
- How did I feel after writing that?
- What was the best moment?
- How do I incorporate this into my life?
On January 2, I wrote:
Best Part of the Day – Eating breakfast at Cracker Barrel with my favorite boy toy. He was so relaxed, as was I. We talked about all kinds of things (written about above). He was so smiley and happy for nearly the entire breakfast. The fire on my back was warm, the restaurant was not overly crowded, the food was fixed good and tasted good. The Christmas tree is down, but the pine needle garland and red bows are still on the fireplace.
Thoughts on the Exercise – Bit hectic. Not sure if I will keep doing this long-term.
Best Moment – My favorite boy toy agreeing to go to Starbucks so I could write for a while someplace different than at home.
Incorporating Into My Life – I need to enjoy precious moments and good moods while they are here. So often either he or I are tired and crabby and unfortunately, our mood impacts each other.
Within a few more days of the exercise, I realized that the best part of many days was having breakfast with my favorite boy toy. As the year has gone, we’ve made it a point to go out for breakfast several days a week before I go to work. There are so many advantages to it. We’re fresh and relaxed, leading to better conversations and less bickering. The day hasn’t started yet, so we have patience for whatever is being discussed, from galleries for his art work to how many days we spend visiting our child.
Gretchen Rubin’s experiment that resulted in the book, The Happiness Project, consciously undertook to make each day a best day. So did Ann Voskamp in her book, One Thousand Gifts. Both are worthy of reading if you want to improve your contentment with your life as it is right now.
An unknown author once wrote,
We can’t adjust the wind, but we can adjust the sails.
And that is something within our control – adjusting our attitude towards life. For other ideas on this topic, check out Leo Babauto’s entry on 10 Simple, Sure-fire Ways To Make Today The Best Day Ever.
This picture is from earlier this fall, taken when we drove a bridge over a bay that went out to the Atlantic Ocean. It was part of a series, another of which is posted here.
Word for tomorrow – TRANSMIT. If you prefer to work ahead, see the list for the week under “A Word A Day”.
Virginia Ann Voskamp Atlantic Ocean best day Gretchen Rubin One Thousand Gifts postaday2011 sailing The Happiness Project Virginia write it on your heart
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I am a backyard adventurer, philosopher and observer, recording my life in journals and photographs. Visit my blog at www.livingtheseasons.com.
I so agree that everyday life is best of all!
Thanks! It takes work some days though, but it gets easier with practice.
I really enjoyed this post. I particularly like the quote at the end about “adjusting the sails”. It has taken me many years to realize that I am not working towards happiness. It is still a work in progress to sit back and enjoy life instead of feeling like I am always working toward something. Every day should bring happiness. You just have to learn how to enjoy the life you are living. There are great things every day that go unnoticed, and your attitude plays a huge part in it!! Thanks so much for sharing!!
Traci – thanks so much for the comment. It’s hard on some days to remember that we can choose our responses to life. I agree with your sentiments. You work a very demanding job plus have a husband and two boys. It’s hard to balance it all, but it is so worth it. You’re a rich woman in all ways, but it’s hard to take care of the blessings on some days!
That’s an interesting exercise. I like Emerson’s quote, too. I love going out for breakfast, but we only go on Saturday, once in awhile. Here’s my post for engraved:
I loved your photo – great choice. We used to only go out on weekends, but in the last five years I’ve had multiple times being at work until very late at night. That’s how this got started – if I worked until midnight or later, I went out for breakfast with my husband the next day before going into work. It made him happy and it was a nice way to start my day. I’m still working a lot of overtime, so we’ve kept it up.