Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Green Day, Red Day, Work Day, Dead Day

You've heard the expression, "Treat every day as a gift."

What they never say is what kind of gift.

When I wake up, ready to open my day in its neat little box, I have certain expectations. I want certain things out of this gift of a day. When I look in this box I want to see writing, sleeping in, more writing, blogging, talking with roommates, going to the gym, reading, and at the end a nice little package of a chick-flick, kettle corn and peach citrus Fresca all wrapped up in a red bow.

What they never say is that gifts change, and are only rarely what you expect.

Sometimes I open the box and there's extra errands. Sometimes its puppies and rainbows. Sometimes its a new song or an old hoodie or sitting on the couch with my mom watching Biggest Loser and not wanting to leave. Sometimes its absolutely nothing. Sometimes it explodes.

I've learned that the best way to feel good about your writing and your life is to take what the box gives you and do the best you can with it. If its nothing, let it be a nothing day and don't beat yourself up about it. If its twenty juggling knives and a few flamethrowers, do the best you can and just try not to burn yourself. If you happen to wake up on a Saturday with no obligations, take advantage of it and write. If its puppies, give them to me.

It's just that I've been realizing lately that I'm spending too much time beating myself up about days that I don't get enough done and not enough time writing on days when I have more time to spare. Days can be unwieldy, but if we just go along with it, work with it, then I think we make more progress and stay healthier than if we try making bread out of vacuum cleaners.

So take what the box gives you and try to smile :)

Sarah Allen


  1. Fantastic post. I definitely need to apply this mentality to my own life and work. It is really easy to look at what you haven't accomplished, instead of what you have.

  2. At the end of each day, I try to list the positive things I've done or have had happen - just to get to sleep in a happy mode.

  3. I always hope for a productive day, but sometimes that just doesn't happen. It's useless to beat myself up about it--thanks so much for this post!

  4. You're absolutely right! Something slightly unexpected happens everyday and you just have to move forward.

    Nice post!

  5. I'm glad you were in my box today because I needed to hear this.
    Catherine Denton

  6. I enjoyed this! "Life is like a box of chocolates"--and now I need to get some chocolate after looking at the photo of bonbons for this post!

    I definitely try not to beat myself up about things I can't get done. As Scarlett O'Hara said: "I'll think about that tomorrow!"

  7. You are so right, it's easy to beat yourself up about stuff you didn't do rather than high five yourself for the stuff you did. :-)
    We are new followers and would love for you to visit our blog and follow back if you like.

    Jayme @ Her Late Night Cravings

  8. You are so right, Sarah. As much as we want to control what happens, it's never as much in our control as we think. On the other hand, I didn't do some of the things I had time for today. I really have to use my writing time when I have a little moment or it's gone.

  9. Some things just have to be left to happen, or not happen, they cannot be urged or forced, nor diverted when it is their time. So yes, accept whatever is in the box, be grateful, and be sure to make the most of it.

  10. Sometimes the gift is like this:


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