Where Did the Perfect Days Go?
Why are bygone days often better than today?
I awakened this morning and went to my laptop to check my e-mail, FaceBook and YouTube stuff. Yes, I am a confirmed narcissist caught up in the world of sharing my thoughts and hoping people will respond. Checking my specs on YouTube I noticed a silly video I did one day when I put lettering on the windows of our Calvary Chapel at Flagler Beach here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WFBCEWvH7Ew. It's probably pretty dull as videos go. But one thing really struck me.
It seems that day, was brighter and more full of life than today. How come? Today is a beautiful, sunny Florida day and I don't have any requirements of my time or resources. I am happy at breakfast with my wife and grandson. No one is arguing or complaining. So why does it seem that day lettering the church was better than this one? Surely it was not a 'perfect' day. There are always those little annoyances even on the good days. Today has only started and so far it is a 'perfect' day. Nothing has gone wrong. The coffee is good, the coffee maker didn't get plugged and overflow. The dogs are quiet and happy. The pool beckons. Or maybe the beach. Was April 20th 2011 better than today or is it all in my mind? Am I just a malcontent always hoping against hope that things will be better tomorrow? What causes this phenomenon?
Well, it isn't just me. I think most of us either have had this happen to us or have witnessed it in others. There must be some reasonable explanation because close examination seems to say that someday we will look back upon today, tomorrow or some day next week with the same fondness and good feelings we are currently feeling for that 'great day' in our past. If the 'brighter day's' are always something that is behind us then each successive day must be getting worse. And if that's true, eventually things will be horrible. Sometimes things do get progressively worse but generally they don't. So what on earth constitutes a 'great day', that day that is sealed in our heads forever to be recalled as a special, almost sacred time?
As I get older I've noticed just waking up in the morning constitutes a great day for me. But then, there are those truly 'great days'. I once caught an 185 lb., 10-1/2 ft., Striped Marlin off the coast of Cabo San Lucas. As an avid fisherman, that was a lifetime moment 'great day' that frequents my memory and story telling often. I confess, there are times when the length of time I fought that fish get a little longer in the telling of it. The day in my YouTube video above, 'Yes I Do Windows' was in almost every way a very ordinary day but it too was a 'great day'. My wife Judy, won her class at the sand drags back in our off-road racing days and that was cool but, the day she beat arch rival Rachael Bullock, that was a truly 'great day', a lifetime moment for both of us. But she often tells stories of her simple, less active days that are her 'great days' too. She ties peanuts on the end of a fishing line, no hook or weight mind you, and casts them around our camp site. When the ground squirrels pick them up she is has a great day reeling them in like little water skiers trying to get the nuts out of the shells before they get away. That is a very ordinary day camping for Judy. There's a glass of ice tea by her side and a book in her lap. So maybe it doesn't have to be a special occasion or memorable event to make a great day. What then?
I have some ideas but I don't have an answer that is fully satisfying. What are your thoughts on why some ordinary day or special day in our past, constitutes a GREAT DAY? What makes that day better from thousands of others?
© Scott Adie 2012