Everyday Is the Best Day
From a long time ago, that movie title – The Gods Must Be Crazy- came to mind this week. I sat down to write an article for Thirty Thousand Days and I called it Everyday is the Best Day. My first few sentences went like this:
Dr. Shoma Morita proclaimed that every day is the best day. And Dr. Jinroh Itami proclaimed that this expression best describes Meaningful Life (MLT) concepts. I happen to agree and consider that it also fits the program Living Fully/Well with Illness. Although a noble sentiment, this is difficult to apply in daily living.
I knew this idea would be provocative and require unpacking, which I won’t do today. However, I didn’t know I would be put to the test almost immediately. Imagine my shock when I went to save my draft, later that morning and discovered that my entire folder was gone. This folder contained six years of work for an organization, including workshops, previous articles, webinars, and drafts of articles… I even had it in a red folder on my desktop to spot it easily.
On my desktop, was the first mistake. I knew better than to store important documents on my desktop. My son hounded me each time he visited, but I continued. In all these years, nothing had disappeared from my many different desktops. So, I couldn’t quite believe it and kept staring at my desktop as though it might reappear as magically as it disappeared. My mind was already spinning out a story of great inconvenience and wasted time while chastising myself. (despite my self-compassion program.) I was fully aware of the irony of my topic and this cosmic joke. Except it wasn’t a joke. That folder was gone.
Do what needs doing.
And so I began to do what needed doing while hearing the words – every day is the best day. I had Google at my fingertips to search for what I might do. I followed all the suggestions, unhid hidden files, and looked in every obscure corner of my directories, all to no avail. And as much as I was distressed about what happened, I couldn’t help thinking that life was somehow teasing me. Not the idea that my article would be a hard sell, but the reality, right here and now, that my folder was gone. So I had to shake my head, laugh, and turn over stones.
Next, I thought of my backup system. (You may have thought of that first.) And with my fingers crossed, I went to the cloud and signed in. I come from an era where backup systems were often complicated and a pain in the neck, particularly to restore one folder. But Backblaze came through. I had to reset my password and type in a code, and there it was—a simple and well-designed menu to select from.
Everything was there, and within minutes, I had my folder with files intact downloaded: no glitches, hair-pulling, or tech angst. I was beyond grateful to get my work back.
The next step was to move the rest of my important files off my desktop. Done.
The truth is that life gives us challenges regularly. It is normal. We use our wit, skill and all the help we can get to act on the things we can do something about. And when we have done that, it can also be revealing to notice all the help we received to overcome the obstacle or to lessen its impact.
Let me make a partial list in this case.
- I was in my study, when this happened, which made it easier than if I were out of town.
- I am relatively tech-savvy, although storing essential files on my desktop shouts loudly that I am not.
- I can follow instructions and know where to find them.
- I had a backup program – untested to date, but it worked like a charm.
- I did not lose my mind over this.
- I wasn’t on a fixed and immediate deadline.
- I have had training on how to struggle without agitation. (Nothing works all the time.)
- As I fretted, chuckled and worked, the sky was blue outside my window.
- My fretting was interrupted by a call from a dear friend.
- And I was alive and well and capable of managing this, whether I got that red folder back or not.
In a certain way, we live with the false notion that things should work for us. And that if we work diligently and do the right things, well, things will turn out. Many times, they do. But not always. The advantage of living long enough is learning that life is full of the unexpected. Change is inevitable. We also learn that we can manage the things that fall apart. Not necessarily all at once. But one step after the other. And even in the darkest hour, we can count on our ability to do the hard things and/or ask for help. We don’t like disappointments, changes in plans, or getting sick. Some things are much harder than others, yet there are moments of goodness, beauty, meaning and joy if we pay attention. (without ignoring or pretending that our life feels like it is going to hell in a handbasket, so to speak)
My lost folder crisis was hardly earth-shattering, yet it was a tiny whack on the side of the head to remind me that when I blithely make a statement that something is hard to do, I must be prepared to experience it.
Be the Calm One on the Boat
When the crowded refugee boats met with storms or pirates, if everyone panicked, all would be lost. But if even one person stayed calm, it was enough. It showed the way for everyone to survive.
–Thich Nhat Hanh (I love this reflection of Thich Nhat Hanh.)
1:) “We can make ourselves miserable, or we can make ourselves strong. The amount of effort is the same.” Pema Chodron
2:) A poem
Light and Dark by James Crews (I saw this on Instagram)
Half-awake, I lose myself in a pool
of late morning sun and leaf-shadows
flashing on the floor outside my bedroom,
what the Japanese call komorebi ~ light
and dark held in the same container
of a single moment, as we hold them in us,
learning to love equally a burst of joy
welling up like wind in the crowns of trees
and a sorrow that still weighs us down
like stones in the shoes, like swallowed clay.
Today, I stand here at the edge of both,
knowing that if I want to walk in the light
I’ll have to dance with the shadows, too.
3:) A beautiful 12 min film, Love at First Sight, for those who haven’t watched this.
4:) Thank you for your courtesy and your time. You can do so many things, and I am honoured that you chose to spend a few minutes here. All my best wishes, Trudy
PS All the photos are from Gabriola Island. The banner photo was thunder and lightning at Berry Point – a favourite spot. Thanks to Gottfried.