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A Good Day

Sep 05, 2018 03:18PM ● By Elizabeth Hesterly

Over the years I’ve learned that A Good Day has many meanings. We greet one another, often encouraging one another to have A Good Day.  We say this to folks in the grocery store, during our exercise routines, and as we encounter people in all manner of activity. It’s a nice saying. But it’s inexact. That’s the wrinkle.

To a caregiver, A Good Day is one where the seriously ill patient is cognitively aware, or one where the patient smiles, or one where the patient rests peacefully. To a teacher, A Good Day is one where a student’s eyes shine in understanding, or one where every student respects classroom rules, or one where a parent notices a job well done. To an ordained minister, A Good Day might be one where home and hospital visits offer comfort, or one where an unexpected gift to the church arrives, or one where the next sermon flows with inspiration and ease. To an ordinary person like me, A Good Day is one where I haven’t used my sharp tongue, or one where I’ve written a note to someone I care about, or one where I’ve spent time with people I love.

A Good Day is not a specific phenomenon. It doesn’t offer measurable quantity. It’s not even the same from week to week or person to person. No, A Good Day is much more complicated than that. A Good Day is extremely personal.

When I was a young mom, A Good Day was measured by the laundry. If all the socks matched when pulling them out of the dryer, I felt that all was right with the world. This was especially true when my sons played baseball at Lafayette Little League. My oldest son once had a coach who made players run laps before the game if they showed up without their official socks (or in my dad’s world of baseball jargon, their stockings). To this one particular coach, arriving without the right socks was a capital offense. Thus in our household, one that strived to follow the rules, those socks were a big deal. But since I did the laundry, the responsibility fell to me. I remember once that one of those royal blue stockings disappeared. I pulled one from the dryer, but the other had dissipated. Anyone who washes and dries socks regularly will feel my pain. It’s just something that happens. A single sock disappears into thin air.

I hurriedly called a friend whose son, on another team but one that wore similar colors, and asked her if we could borrow a proper colored sock. This is what mothers do. I met her in her driveway on the way to the ballpark and I could feel my heart rate settle down as my son’s uniform socks were placed on his feet. It was going to be A Good Day after all.

I still do the laundry, but I’m not washing baseball and soccer socks anymore. My days are filled with work, chores and tasks, and often more pleasurable pastimes. A Good Day for me is now a simpler day, a day without too many demands, a day with smiles and laughter, a day spent with my husband.

I like thinking about phrases, what they mean, and how we use them. I’m acutely aware that people in my circle are suffering, that people in my sphere are in need, and that all of us need A Good Day. I often need A Good Day myself. But I want to work towards having A Good Day, even when my circumstances seemingly prevent it. I want to embrace the concept. I welcome it. I want to choose to have A Good Day.