Tag Archives: bad day

I took out the trash today.

I took out the trash today.

I filled my daughters’ water bottles. I made one lunch. I started the dishwasher. I had my one cup of coffee. My morning routine is predictable. There are activities I do every morning, like spend a few minutes in meditation. Other activities happen as needed, like making lunches for my daughters.

Today, I took out the trash.

Let me back up to the start of the day. My alarm went off at 4:50. Groggy, I put my feet on the floor. I was already dreading the day. The health department set their COVID dial to Orange. The school routine would be amped up. Cleaning every period. More temperature checks. No visitors to the school. Let alone, the daily battle of wearing a mask. That’s all I will say about that situation.

A bad mood was brewing before I even started my coffee maker.

And it just got worse. Especially, when I had to fight the trash container to get the bag out. We have a cylinder trash can that creates a vacuum when the trash bag is too full. Fun times.

I wake my daughters at 5:55. Get them breakfast. We are usually ready to head to school at 6:30. This morning, we were actually a few minutes ahead of schedule. My mood was darkening, that’s when I took out the trash.

The clip above is from the movie Peaceful Warrior, which is based on the book, Way of the Peaceful Warrior.

I waited for the garage door to open so that I could put my bags in the truck of the minivan. After setting the bags in, I stepped out on to our driveway and took in the stars. I heard a side door open so I turned to see my second daughter waiting for the door to stop moving. I asked her to come see the stars, especially the constellation, Orion.

There we stood, father and daughter under a morning sky that was filled with wonder. I pointed out Mars and how it had a reddish shine. We found Venus, too. We circled looking at the different constellations. We heard the rest of the family getting situated into the van, but we stood there a few more seconds.

“Pretty cool, huh?” I said.

“Yeah, the stars are beautiful,” she said.

We smiled at each other, then got into the van to start the day.

My daughter helped me take out the trash today.

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Was it worth it?

Ever have one of those days?

You know, when you are in a bad mood and you don’t really know why, but you still slam the cupboards or the utensil drawer so that everyone in the house knows you are mad.

Maybe you hit the steering wheel as the crossbars light up for the oncoming train. Maybe you walk down the hall, head down, frowning while people move out of your way.

Was it worth it?

Was making sure everyone knew you were in a bad mood worth it?  Was the time you wasted on negative energy worth it? Did the train pass quicker? Did your family enjoy your attitude at dinner? Did life just magically get better because of your mood?

Was it worth it?

I recently read the book, Life Is Short, Don’t Wait to Dance, by Valorie Kondos Field, the UCLA gymnastics coach. In the book she discuss why choosing a positive, high energy attitude is one of the keys to the team’s success. The book expands on the idea, but the core idea is that we choose our attitudes. And she is right.

For our everyday lives, our attitude is a choice, and we pay a price for those attitudes. We might gain something from it or we might damage something from the attitude we choose. I hate to admit it, but I have lost my cool with my children before, and felt guilty as I watched their eyes turn down and their brow change to the question, “What did I do?”

I have seen athletes miss opportunities because of attitudes. Same for students who bring in a difficult attitude in to class. I’ve wasted time with family and friends because I wanted to brood in my bad attitude. It wasn’t worth it.

Every attitude we choose has a cost for our lives… you decide if the attitude is worth your life.

 

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Bad Day

So, I remembered I needed to pack two lunches as the family was heading out the door.

My wife couldn’t find her jacket.

I forgot my computer halfway to daycare.  Had to turn around and go back to the house.

It was the start of a bad day.

And you know what?  I think that it is good to have a bad day… or at least a bad section to the day.  Here’s why.

One: It jolts us from our comfort zone.  On most mornings our household is routine.  A little stressed at times, but in most cases our mornings are uneventful.  This morning was a jolt to our routine.  It reminded me that I needed to make sure I have my to-do list ready each morning.  I should have been ready for the extra time to make my children’s lunches, but I wasn’t.

Two: It allows us to practice mental toughness.  I know this is coach speech, but it is important in life, too.  In sports an athlete or coach has to let go of a bad play.  I instruct my football players that they have about five seconds to be mad (or even happy) after a play.  Walk back to the huddle mad but walk to the line focused on the next play.  It is the same for life. A day is filled with moments; letting one thing affect everything else is a guarantee to having a bad day.  And sometimes we let a bad day turn into a bad week, or even month. Or longer.

Three: A bad day can teach us that something needs to change, if we are willing to be honest with ourselves.  When things go wrong for a while, something isn’t working.  It might take sometime to figure it out, but it is worth it.

So, if you might be having a bad day… cool.  I hope you find the benefit from it to change today to a great day.

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