How to Celebrate the Remarkable Value of One Day

Between one day and the next, I was married, and my life changed forever.  I was committed to my husband of nearly 40 years.


Between one day and the next, I was a mother, and my life changed forever.  My priorities and choices were permanently impacted by my daughter, who will be 35 next month.


Between one day and the next, I was a grandmother.  What fun!  I'm so blessed with my three grandsons.


Between one day and the next, any of our lives could change.  It could be a promotion, an illness, an accident, or an award and the recognition that goes with it.


time



A gift


If we live to be 70, we'll experience over 25,000 days.  So what does it matter if we waste a few?  So what if I lounge all day in my pajamas and binge watch The Queen's Gambit?


Each day we arise with energy and hope, or not.  We successfully complete important tasks, or we don't.  We enjoy pleasant and kind encounters with other people, or we don't.  We connect with our ideals and refresh our spirits, or not.  We're observant and thankful, or the opposite.


We don't control all the circumstances of our lives, but we do control these things.  We have the privilege of choosing our attitude and how we spend our time.  Each day is a gift, and today we have an extra – Leap Day!


However, we tend to go through our days in a well-worn rut.  We get up, do our tasks, get distracted, go to bed.  Rise and repeat.  Our days become an endless round of things to do and get through.


What would it be like if today were special, if we saw it as the gift it really is?





3 practices to elevate your day


1.  Win the day.

Instead of starting the day with a long list of tasks to do, could you identify one or two things that would make your day a victory if you were to do them?


Okay, maybe you need to run a load of laundry and pick up milk and Cheerios at the grocery store.  Maybe you need to return a few phone calls and get to the dentist.  Those might be necessary, but what are one or two tasks that would get you closer to achieving a goal you care about, or to fulfilling your mission?


For me, that might be writing this blog post.  It might be rehearsing some music I'm going to perform soon.  It might be babysitting my grandsons, and making sure I listen to them, read to them, and talk about important things like God, the beauty of the world, how to care about other people, what they like to learn about, or what they might do in the future.


If I can get just those one or two or three things done, it will be a big win for my goals.  And it would feel fantastic!  This is what I want to keep front and center, and think about multiple times during the day.  Maybe I won't completely succeed, but I'll certainly accomplish more by focusing my attention in this way.


2.  Review the day.

At the end of the day, it can be valuable to review how things went, and celebrate anything you can.

  • Did I win the day (see #1)?  Celebrate any progress at all.
  • How did I do with the habits I'm trying to master?  For me right now, that's avoiding sugar and reducing carbs.  Any success is cause for celebration.  Any failure is a chance to learn and start again.

  • Was I aware of the divine today?  I believe in God, but you can think in terms of "the sacred" if that works for you.  Did I practice kindness and grace?  Did I notice beauty and awesomeness?  Did I ask for help, or give thanks?

This is a powerful practice that lets you celebrate your gift of life.


3.  Pause.

This can happen at any time, and multiple times, throughout the day.


In the past, as I finished any task, I'd have the urge to look at my list and see what I needed to do next.  Yes, I might take a short break for water or food or something else, but usually my practice was to get right on to the next thing.


This is what makes us feel that our work is never-ending.  It's what lets our days blur into one another, and helps the time fly by unnoticed.  What if we take a pause instead?


When I finish the rough draft of this post, it's a chance to pause, reread, and reflect.  I can think again about the idea I had for the post when I first began it.  Did I express that idea?  Or as I wrote, did I refine the idea into something better?  Is what I'm writing worth reading?  Might it be valuable to someone else?


It's a chance to appreciate the opportunity I have to write for an audience.  (That's you.  Thank you for reading!)  A chance to remember those who have encouraged me and taught me my craft.  A chance to celebrate and be grateful.


Then I can move on to the next task.






This "extra" day is a bonus.


Between one day and the next, we don't know what will happen.  But isn't it amazing that we're here, and that we've been given life and awareness?  That is always worth celebrating.


I hope your Leap Day is a success!


Comments

  1. Your post today is simple but profound writing (as always!), and I thank you for consistently pointing your readers toward thinking beyond the day-to-day ruts we can so easily slip into.

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