ONE OF LIFE’S LITTLE PLEASURES FOR ME is to stop by Zingerman’s Bakehouse on my way to work. Along with the Enough Already bagel, my favorites include the cinnamon roll – but only if it’s up to my very particular standards. Fortunately, Angie and the other wonderful people who work there keep me safe from any less-than-perfect pastries, and this morning she gave me a thumbs-up on them. After she’d rung up my purchase (both a cinnamon roll and a bagel, thank you very much), Angie looked me in the eye and said, “Jeff, have an EXCELLENT day.” I laughed and told her that I would, because she’d told me to. And from that moment, I set out to make it one.
So how did that work out? Well, I will chalk up the day as suitably excellent. Here’s a brief summary of my activities for the day:
- Wrung myself out at my body conditioning class
- Had several long meetings with other people at work
- Met with the plumber at my house regarding a bathroom remodel
- Worked late, came home, fed the cats and took the trash to the curb
Sorry I don’t have something more memorable, such as, “I told my boss to go to blazes and went Zorbing,” or, “I bought a convertible to keep pace with my mother,” but I wasn’t that desperate. I just wanted the day to feel excellent, and it worked for me today. And maybe it’s something I can do, and should do, more often.
If nothing else, Angie’s kind remark got me thinking about my attitude toward the ordinary days – those where I get out of bed, go to work, come home, and go to bed – and then wonder where the years went. It isn’t like I’ve been idle, or that nothing significant has happened; 2011 was one of the most active years I’ve ever had, including my first marathon and multi-day bike trip. Yet it seems like my Running 101 class was just yesterday, when it was actually in January 2010 – two years ago. What happened? In between the great memories are a lot of ordinary days. And how many of them could I count as excellent? Well, starting today, one more than before.
One final tip to at least make the end of the day feel excellent; cuddle the most important participants in your life, and tell them how much you love them. Then when you’re done with the cats, be sure to hug your spouse and kids, too.