25 January 2017

It's The Best Day Of The Year So Far!

When I read this Ralph Waldo Emerson quote on January 1, posted on Instagram by LatterDayHome it really inspired me and turned into a project I hadn't anticipated. I decided that at the end of each day I would write a Facebook post on my personal page sharing how that day was the best day in the year so far.

image by kalanicut

While it was still the holidays it was pretty easy to have something fun and/or adventurous to share each day. Days were relaxing, the world was quiet and we were at ease. After a few days I started getting comments from friends about how much they loved the posts and how it was inspiring them to think about each day as the best day. I was surprised because I could kind of imagine some of my snarkier FB friends were quickly getting annoyed with my daily Pollyanna posts!

When I started this FB habit I really didn't know if I would do it for a couple of weeks, or the month of January. I certainly couldn't imagine keeping up with it for the entire year. Not sure it's something I can just stop now though.

It's been a real lesson in seeing the positive. Some days that is so easy to do. And then there are "the other days" when things go crummy, when one doesn't feel well, the family is all grumpy or some little but painful tragedy strikes (like losing all your Word files on your computer, which happened to The Man last week.) Those days are not so easy to be cheerful and grateful for and it is indeed a challenge to see how a day like THAT could possibly be the best day in the year so far.
I certainly don't want anyone to think we don't suffer some days or that we don't have hard days, because we definitely do and I would even say part of every day is hard in some way.  Hardship does not escape any of us. I also don't want to imply that I don't see and deeply feel those challenges or that I don't feel sad or angry or many other negative emotions. But I do work really hard to limit the amount of time I spend wallowing in those emotions. I try to climb out as quickly as possible so that I can move on to something more productive and less depressing.

There have been a couple of days where I have been tempted to skip it altogether because it felt totally dishonest to say it was even a great day, let alone the best day in the year so far. But then I took a few minutes to review my day and I remembered the amazing, good things that had happened. Things like finding a pair of jeans that fit and that I actually liked! Miraculous! Having a friend give us a big cheery cheesecake pie. Delicious! Taking a nap. Fantastic and rare! Every time I was tempted to skip, I realized that there were in fact things that made that day a best day that I was overlooking or that had been overshadowed in my emotions or lack of emotion by other things.

It's been fun to push myself to feel gratitude for each day and in a way this is another type of gratitude journaling that I have done in the past in a bound journal or on a sheet of paper numbered for each day of the month. Sometimes I feel a little "exposed" sharing our daily events with a few hundred people but it's an opportunity to SHINE some positivity out into the world and that is one of my top five goals in life so I think it's worth it, despite the vulnerability. 

The positive comments from friends have definitely been the guiding light. One friend even started posting her own "best day in the year so far" posts each day which I love reading. Yesterday I posted the above photo and a challenge to all my friends on FB to start posting their own "best day in the year so far" gratitude posts and then to challenge all their friends to do the same. I challenge you to do the same whether it's on Instagram or Facebook or any social media channel. What a happy chorus of gratitude and seeing the good that would be across the internet! I'd love to hear from you if you take the challenge!

*Update: A friend commented on my "best day so far" post last night on Facebook that she hoped I would print a book with each day's entry along with a photo at the end of the year. I thought that was a fantastic idea. I told her I wasn't sure I'd make it the entire year and she wisely suggested that even a month would make a great picture book. I will try to do that. I was so glad she shared this suggestion!

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