An Excellent Day

A Director of Quality cannot settle for less than the best.

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.

It seems like just yesterday I was saying to Julius, "Hey, you gonna run Shamrocks on the Ides of March?"

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.

5 thoughts on “An Excellent Day

  1. rhgramma

    Oh man! It’s March the one-th and I just now got to read your “excellent” blog. So that’s what zorbing is! I can hardly wait to jump into my roadster and head for the nearest zorbing field. It may be wet crossing the Pacific. I’ll put the top up.

    Meanwhile I’ll collect MY hug on Sunday! By the way as you know, your spouse makes the Zingeman’s cinnamon roll too. I thought that was a picture of hers at first.


  2. And I’m just kiddin’ – wife and kids do come first, and as my kids are away from home now, I’m feeling a ‘hug shortage’ that I do my best to make up for when I see them.

    Yep, it sure is our choice on how we approach each day. Funny, I just read an article today in the Zingerman’s newsletter about what the traditional attitude toward “work” has been (re: drudgery until retirement) and what it ought to be (rewarding and enjoyable). May not be possible for everyone, but I bet it could be more for people than it currently is.

  3. If we were talking about ME, I’d be hugging my spouse and kids first, but then that’s just me. Just sayin’

    About the attitude you bring to each day – it our choice, isn’t it.

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