Is Today Going to be the Best Day of your Life? – #yearofme
Last weekend, Dustin and I spent some time at RootsTech in downtown Salt Lake City. RootsTech is a global family history event where people of all ages learn to discover, share and celebrate their family connections across generations through technology. There are booths from companies like Ancestry.com and FamilySearch (my brother-in-law is on the UX team there) where you can learn how to find your relatives and ancestors. There are classes and speakers and interactive exhibits where you can record phone calls with loved-ones or record your own story to share with future generations. (I called my Grandfather and asked him to tell me a story and Dustin & I recorded ourselves telling the story of how we met.) It was an amazing couple of hours exploring my family history, learning about the legacy from people who came before me, and finding a new appreciation for my own memories and stories.
One of the booths that made a lasting impression on me, however, was for a company that creates custom books/memoirs for family members. For example, we could ask this company to create a book on my Grandfather’s life. They would spend time interviewing him, collecting photos and letters and documents that he may have saved, and then write their life story and create a custom layout featuring photos and news articles and anything else that goes along with those stories. This booth had about a hundred books that they had done for various people around the country and I found myself spending a ton of time flipping through them and reading about their lives. One of the books was for the founder of C.R. England Trucking (you know, the big semi trucks you see with the giant crest on them and ENGLAND scrawled across the side in cursive writing?) As I read flipped through the pages, I stopped on a photo of his second wife who reminded me a lot of my late grandmother, Bonnie. She was decked out in beautiful jewelry and her hair and makeup were perfect. As I pointed out her resemblance to my grandmother, the gentleman who had was running the booth and had been the lead on creating that book said:
“Oh I loved that lady! She was ALWAYS dressed up so nicely. I said to her one day: ‘You look so nice! You didn’t need to dress up for us; we’re just doing an interview.’ and she said: ‘I always try to look my best because I never know if this is going to be the best day of my life.'”
That totally stopped me in my tracks. I keep coming back to it, days later. “You never know if today is going to be the best day of your life.”
How many times do I wake up in the morning and decide, before even putting my feet on the ground, that my day is going to be blah? How many days do I run out of the house late, with last night’s mascara still on? How many times do I let little things negatively affect my attitude towards others and myself throughout the day? How many “best days of my life” have I missed out on because I wasn’t looking for them?
I really dug deep into this and asked myself some tough questions: If I knew that I was waking up to the best day of my life, how would I act differently? How would my attitude be? How would I look and act and feel?
And here’s the truth of it all:
If I knew that today was going to be the best day of my life, I would for sure approach it differently. I would make sure that I was prepared for the day the night before by having everything for that day laid out. I would get up early enough to put on a cute outfit and to do my makeup and hair. I would give myself enough time to get to wherever I was going so I wouldn’t feel rushed. I would put good foods into my body and I wouldn’t let silly things frustrate me (like hitting all the red lights on the way to work or getting stuck behind an old lady driving 20 miles an hour under the speed limit.)
If I woke up, knowing that it was going to be the best day of my life, I would probably not sweat the small stuff and stay focused on the bigger picture. I wouldn’t let things like Instagram likes or pageviews weigh me down or assign the value to my personal worth. I would spend more time cultivating and caring for important relationships in my life. I wouldn’t be plugged into my phone as much. I would be more present. I would probably be kinder to others around me. I would be more brave and confident in myself and the things I have to offer the world.
If I knew I was about to have the best day of my life, I would do everything to put my best foot forward to be prepared for that day and then I would do everything to enjoy that day. I would ignore the noise. I wouldn’t let little things distract me or get me down. And I would look hella good doing it.
So, in the spirit of #yearofme, I’ve decided that I’m going to change the way I approach my daily life. I’m going to wake up every morning and prepare for it like it’s going to be the best day of my life – because it just might be! That means:
- I’m going to be prepared for my day. I won’t be running around like a chicken with my head cut off. I will have things set aside so I can confidently and quickly get ready for my day.
- I’m going to dress the heck up. I’m going to do my hair and my makeup and not feel bad about it. I used to feel like I was being too over the top or extra if I did a smokey eye for a “regular” workday, but I’m no longer going to feel ashamed of wanting to put my makeup on. If I’m going to have the best day of my life, that means I’m going to have a killer face of makeup on because I want to look put together and feel like I’m putting my best foot forward.
- I am not going to let my attitude be swayed by little things that are beyond my control. So what if Teddy started barking at 6 AM this morning – I can still have the best day of my life, even if I lost 30 minutes of sleep.
- I’m going to not sweat the little things and focus on the bigger picture. I am going to extend myself grace and find joy in the journey instead of stressing out about getting to the destination. I’m going to appreciate the small details that make up my life, like the sweet notes my co-workers leave on my computer, or always having warm water for tea or the extra five minutes of Teddy snuggles before I tuck him into his own puppy bed at night.
- I’m going to focus on being the best version of myself because the best days don’t happen when we’re in ruts of self-doubt or negativity or “the entire world is against me.”
- I’m going to fill myself up with positive self-talk and words of affirmation. I’m going to be enough. I’m going to be brave. I’m going to be confident. I’m going to have the best day of my life.
And yes, I know that it’s unrealistic to think that every day is going to be better than the last. In fact, I know that most days will be pretty ordinary. But that’s not what matters here. What matters is that I wake up every day prepared for it to be the best day of my life – and doing my best to live like it is.
So here’s my challenge for you this month:
Dig deep. Really reflect. Ask yourself this question every morning: “What if today is going to be the best day of your life? What would you do differently? What would you change about your day-to-day comings and goings? If you knew that today or tomorrow or the next day was going to be the best day of your life, what version of yourself would you want to be?”