I believe in the possibility and the significance of better days. All life is either about things getting better or getting worse and where you are in the process describes a lot about how your life is going. I believe that most people, no really everyone, has had some experience in things going better and we have a lot more knowledge than we ever give ourselves credit for. We don’t tend to give credit to our ability to make it better or credit the importance of what we know about how to make it better. All of us want things to go better, all of us hope things go better but it is so easy to tie better up with things we have little or no control over that we convince ourselves there is nothing we can do and end up wondering why everything is always so damn hard, particularly when it doesn’t seem nearly as hard for other people. We don’t always do the things that we can do that make it better on purpose and in a planned way. Sometimes we convince ourselves there is no point.
We don’t really appreciate better days when so many things are still hard. We want good days.
I know all this is true of me way too much of the time.
I think part of the problem with the idea of “good days” is that somehow it is, at least for me, tied up with the idea of easier days. I think it is for many people. The sticking point is that for many people life is harder than it is for others. And much of what is harder you cant do much about and if you predicate your happiness with doing something about something you cant do anything about you have written a pretty good recipe for unhappiness.
Injustice is real. Tragedy is real. Injury is real. Some people just don’t have the same chance as others. Struggle is not what gets in the way of life. It is life.
There are a million conditions that may or may not make life harder. Poverty is a real one for me and if days can not be okay or better days until poverty is not an issue in my life then nothing will ever be okay. People are labeled or tagged in ways that have real life consequences and make opportunity less real for them in concrete and tangible ways. Race, nationality, faith, social status, disability, religion , sex and many more affect what fairly or unfairly is open to many of us. I never believed in years ago but age also makes life harder in ways that are not often negotiable.
Part of life is to fight injustice in every way you can. You may never find “good days” but a commitment to what you think life can be and should be is I think part of making days better days. One of the things that makes days better days is our ability to treat important things as important and to strive to be the kind of people we think we should be. And because some things dont change in the ways we like it doesn’t mean that they dont get better or that other things do change.
The hardest thing for me to learn and the hardest thing for me to live by every day is the idea that it can be a hard day and still a better day. Sometimes I know it and know it well. Some days it seems like the gibberish of a foreign language that has little to do with making through the day.
It matters how hard you try. It matters what you do. It matters how you approach things. All that is important and central. But if your measure is in “good days” it doesn’t always make a difference. Some things are just hard.
If you struggle a lot you get tired a lot. Fatigue matters. Ignoring it makes nothing better. Taking care of yourself is the necessary condition of taking care of anything else.
I have had to learn that when I feel like saying “I am really sick of this shit…” that is okay. Respecting what I can do means knowing what I cant and sometimes my plate it too full and I have to stop. You do your best and you push to improve your best but dont go into mourning because your best right now is not what you hoped it was. Getting better. Better days.
I hold on to the fantasy of good days I confess. I used to work as a family therapist a very long time ago and I knew a man who I worked with that was worth about 400 million dollars. He never found good days and found not many better days. Do what you can and do what you can on purpose as much as you can manage.
In many ways this post is written to me. I am struggling mightily right now with this better day/good day thing. It is not nearly as easy as I have made it sound. Many things in my life I badly want to be different I dont think will ever be different and loss and grief often gets in the way of good sense. It is called being human I guess.
Reading back little of this post came out the way I though it would when I started. I hope it makes sense. I hope it is at least a little bit helpful.
I hope tomorrow is a better day for both of us.