You know that feeling when you hit the bed extremely exhausted, but within your gut you know you just rocked it. You had a kick-a** day.
A few years ago, I picked up a book I found in my brother’s room called The Five Secrets You Must Discover Before You Die – I kinda snickered and asked myself what he was doing with this book. I ended up immersed in it over Christmas vacay. The one part I loved and have intentionally tried to live out is the first secret, “Be True to Yourself” – particularly in having a “good tired” day or a “bad tired” day.
“’Good tired’ was when you lived your life focusing on the things that really mattered to you. A ‘bad tired’ he said often comes even when it looks like we are winning, but we realize that we are not being true to ourselves. It seems to be that the first element of knowing ourselves is figuring out what makes up a “good tired” day for us.’
I have reflected on this for quite some time and it is a simple technique. You notice on the “good days” what contributed to that contentment, and on the bad days, what elements made up that bad day.
On my good tired days I always make room for people – especially for friends and family. I will call my sister, even if it is to listen to her long-winded stories about her job as a gifted teacher (which she is incredibly good at). I will write a nice email to thank my mom or Skype with my dad overseas. On the days I’ve already scheduled happy hour with a friend, it’s a bonus.
My work does not feel like tasks – rather, I feel like I am really making a difference. I notice on the good days, I am building trust with a colleague, or have gained respect from a manager or am in lock-step on a volunteer project.
My good tired days I am absolutely learning something. I am currently reading Culture Making and The Meaning of Marriage and about to pick up Social Business By Design . It’s a good day when I connect with a blogger like Mike Del Ponte, his post – The REAL Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous prompted me to dust this book off the shelf (the same one I had stolen from my brother). It made me ask again “What do I want for Allen and I in order to have a rich life?”
Since I got laid off, we have halted our travel plans (Italy!) and decorations on our new home. That really hurt. Allen aka Bubba has even stopped drinking protein shakes – those colossal containers of whey protein that cost $50/month. If you know my husband, this is a big deal for him – he needs his daily intake of protein. However, as much as money, and even time, can allow for “freedom” I realize that the most meaningful memories, the most defining moments in my life did not cost money. In the midst of job transitions, I can still have an incredibly rich life. Without traveling as much as I’d like, I can still have really good days that make up a rich life. It all depends on what you value.
So write down what makes a good tired day and reflect on what made your day a bad tired day. If we can focus on doing that, I guarantee your life will become more and more rich.
In his book Culture Making, Andy Crouch says “To be poor is to be unable to ‘make something of the world.’ Instead of condemning culture, critiquing culture , copying culture or consuming culture, how do we creatively create culture? For me, it starts with defining a good, rejuvenating, hard-working, yet exhilarating day. I’ve been striving to do some or almost all of the below each day, and boy, I feel less concerned about stuff, image, titles and money.
My good tired day:
- Time for meditation
- Good cup of coffee
- Lots of hugs, kisses, sweet nothings from Bubba
- Working up a sweat, especially outdoors
- Spending time with people I care about
- Helping someone, meeting a need
- Reading, learning something new
- Doing work that is building for the future
- Taking on a challenge, doing something risky
- Laughing with Bubba
- Reflecting on day and learning to improve
- Writing in my gratitude journal
What does yours look like?