Generations of parents have used Judith Viorst’s wonderful children’s book, Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day, to help their children understand that all of us have days when everything seems to go wrong. Days when mothers forget to put yummy treats in your lunch box and the dentist finds a cavity and the store doesn’t have any of the shoes you like in your size. When you want to run away to some place far away (Alexander was fixated on Australia) but you know, deep down (or your mother flat out tells you) that people have bad days there, too.
Thankfully, most of us don’t have those “terrible, horrible, no good, very bad days” very often. We don’t have spectacular days that often either. Most days end up somewhere in between.
Today I had one of those rare, spectacular days. Thanks to my understanding, supportive and “we’ve got your back” magazine staff, I was able to spend the entire day pursuing an independent writing project of my own. The morning flew by as I reviewed my research and prepared for an afternoon interview that I expected to last an hour. I was there for three. I learned things I never knew before (always the best kind of day). I was with people who inspire and challenge me. By the time I headed home I was flying high.
Even elation is exhausting. I’d planned to go hiking at the end of the day but almost talked myself out of it. I had so many notes to review! Audio files to back up and log! And my mind was brimming with ideas.
Thankfully, I didn’t give up my hike. The slow, methodical plodding of my boots settled my thoughts. The fresh air cleared my head. The exertion brought calm.
As I reached the summit, I looked to the west and realized the unintended perfection of my timing. The sun was just then dipping below the horizon–a process so routine that most days we ignore it. And yet when we take the time to look, we find it magical.
As I hurried down the trail, hoping to get back to the parking lot before it got too dark, I heard an owl hooting on the ridge to my right. The soothing sound kept me company nearly all the way down.
Today it was Karen and the Wonderful, Delightful, All Good, Very Awesome Day.