Last week I broke one of the basic rules of good writing. I got a little carried away with adjectives, writing about the Amazing, Excellent, Superb, Splendid Very Good Day. I’ll blame my infatuation with my grandchildren.
But sometimes breaking the rules leads to new opportunities, as it did today. One of my readers has wisely slowed down the pace and today champions the value of another kind of good day.
Meet Tina Fariss Barbour.
A Good Day
Tina Fariss Barbour
A good day is not the one where the exciting things happen.
A good day for me is a quiet one, with some work, some reading. My husband is doing his own good things, but we come together for a meal and a walk, and always, talk.
I used to wait for the good days to happen. I have long been challenged by depression and obsessive-compulsive disorder. I thought I couldn’t have a good day until all the depression was gone, all the obsessions were out of my head, all the compulsions were done and laid to rest.
However, part of the healing process for me has been learning that the good days are to be enjoyed when I can make them—or allow them—to happen. In the midst of a dark time, in the midst of unrelenting anxiety, what can be cherished are the good days.
Another challenge is the work I do as a newspaper reporter for a weekly newspaper. About two years ago, I reduced my hours to have more time for my own writing and editing.
But at least four days a week are spent dealing with deadlines and stress. A goal for me is to find a way to work the characteristics of a good day into the newspaper workday.
So, until then, a good day for me looks something like this.
I get up early enough to take a walk in the neighborhood before many other people are stirring. Before I go, I whisper to Larry where I’m going, and he nods and goes back to sleep.
I take my phone along so I can take photographs of the things that catch my eye: the look of the sun through the trees, a particularly lovely shade of gold in the leaves.
When I return home, I stretch and drink water and feel physically strong. I eat a cup of Greek yogurt.
I write in my journal, a page or two.
After Larry goes out to his shop to work on one of his projects, I start on my own projects. I open my computer and spend some time on my editing work, or blogging, or a research project. I make progress.
Our cat Chase Bird wanders through the room, his face full of late morning sleepiness. But he’s open for a back scratch, a belly rub, and a treat or two. Then he’s back to his daytime sleeping havens.
Then I take a shower and read while Larry takes his. We go out to lunch at a local café that has the best four-bean chili. I enjoy a bowl with a toasted peanut butter sandwich.
If it’s a pretty day, a walk in the park along the Staunton River is called for. I bring my camera.
Back at home, we separate again to our own corners, me with a book, usually, him with his own research or work project. A nap, maybe with Chase Bird. A quiet supper at home.
A quiet day. A productive day. A day connected to my husband and my cat. A good day.
Bio: Tina Fariss Barbour lives in Altavista, a small town in south-central Virginia, with her husband, Larry, and their cat, Chase Bird. She is a newspaper reporter, a freelance editor, a mental health advocate, an animal lover, and a writer striving to live a life of connection. She blogs here. You can find her on Twitter at @TinaFBarbour.
Can you identify with Tina’s version of A Good Day? What elements of her day do you want to add to yours today? What wisdom can you commend?