Are you having a good day?
How about a nice day?
I think America started this greeting, “Have a nice day!” It replaced the older “How do you do?” which became “howdy” before it feel out of use.
A day is a tidy package. It’s a handy size: small enough to grapple with, big enough to fit some significant things.
We can deal with a day. We can ask about a day, and give our wishe…command?…for others to have a nice day.
It’s not insincere. I wish for others to have a nice day, because I really want a nice day for myself.
I would like to put my day to good use, and really enjoy it. And by enjoy, I mean fill it with productive activity.
I think about it a lot. What will I do with my day? How will I pack it appropriately?
I try. Every day I have intentions, and I start out with ideas about how and when I will do what.
I never quite make it. And I feel particularly guilty about it during this quarantine because there is no excuse. I have nowhere else to be, nothing to do but what I set out for myself.
And I still do not hit my target.
I just found this book: Daily Rituals: How Artists Work by Mason Currey. He’s collected the stories of artists—musicians, writers, painters, etc.—how they arranged their days.
They are short little snapshots, with alcohol featuring prominently across many lives. There is not a consistent thread. It feels like a reality TV show: “ At least I don’t do THAT!”
These influencers, these famous names, were trying. They had weird, often inconsiderate and toxic habits and requirements they performed in their days.
I am comforted to know they didn’t hit it either. But the range—Mahler was austere, F. Scott Fitzgerald was a bacchanal—the range gives me room to keep trying.
I’m trying. I’m trying to have a good day.
It’s gonna take awhile.