“Joy is what happens to us when we allow ourselves to recognize how good things really are.” —Marianne Williamson
Every once in a while it takes a not-so-good day, or even a really bad day to remind us of how amazing our life is. In fact, such an amazing everyday life, that we have the time (and energy) to whine or worry about how it is going, until we don’t.
Last week, a few things went awry on one particular day, and thus, that day was well, memorable in ways I could have never anticipated upon falling asleep the night before. Okay, more than a few things went awry. It was a confluence of exhaustion, anticipation, and simple errors that concluded with my car dying on the side of the road, thankfully only blocks from work, but still, the car dying was the straw that broke my strength to keep it together. Why did it die? No, I did not run out of gas, and it wasn’t something simple like the battery, as I had hoped. In fact, it took more than a couple of days for them to diagnosis the issue, which meant I had a weekend to contemplate how I could have made that particular day go more smoothly, even with the events that were out of my control.
In that moment which stretched the entire day, one of the longings I had was simply to have my everyday, the everydays I love, back. To have the simple, everyday routines that I love back on track, so I could breathe, go about my responsibilities with a clear head and have the pleasure of knowing all was well.
All was eventually resolved, the car is back home, fixed, partially covered by insurance and the rest, a smaller chunk of change than I had worried it might be. As well, my everydays that I adore are back. No, they aren’t mundane, they aren’t boring or unvaried, but they have regular moments that I drink up with great pleasure. From my morning breakfast, to my evening cup of tea with a chocolate truffle, both of which were not enjoyed on that particular day due to the schedule I had committed to and the schedule that was thrust upon me due to the unexpected events. As well, my dogs are allowed back in the car again (the rental car prohibited dogs from riding inside which confused my pups when I went grocery shopping over the weekend without them). While each of these everyday details may sound simple and far from life lifting, when we bring them together, we create regular days, everydays, that are deeply satisfying.
In many posts found in the archives, I have written about daily routines, weekly routines, etc. but what about the middle of the work week? What about making sure the work week whether it is Tuesday, Thursday and especially Monday, but we cannot forget Friday, sings a most magnificent melody in our lives and we lose ourselves in the present instead of longing for the weekend?
Below are a list of ideas to help elevate the days of the work week that may just be moments you trudge through without appreciation, or without as much appreciation and enjoyment as you would like.
1. Make Monday Sing
How we design our Mondays makes a magical difference in the entirity of our weeks. Before your week becomes full, before your energy is depleted, complete a great workout on Monday, eat satisfying and healthy meals throughout your entire day, and give it your all – best dressed, best attitude, and a positive outlook. You might be surprised at the difference.
2. Eagerly Anticipate Tuesday Releases
As I shared yesterday on IG when the Barefoot Contessa’s new cookbook arrived at my house, I love Tuesdays. Tuesdays are when the new books are released, and that means after months of waiting, I will finally have the opportunity to enjoy what the authors I love have created. While not everyday Tuesday will involve a new release, when these days occur, make them special, carve out an extra hour to read, and celebrate the middle of the week magic of a new book coming into your life.
3. Enjoy the Special Section of the Newspaper that is only Released Once a Week
Perhaps it is the Style section on Thursday or the Decor section on Friday, whatever section you most anticipate each week, carve out extra time that particular morning, afternoon or evening to read it, devour it and enjoy it.
4. Listen to Your Favorite Podcast on the Day It Is Released or the Day of the Week You Need the Boost
Podcasts have boomed since The Simple Sophisticate was released in 2014. It am continually amazed by how many more podcasts there are now, and truly grateful as it means there is usually always something I look forward to listening to. And as such, most of them adhere to a regularly release schedule whether it is weekly or bi-weekly. For me, I love a good foodcast, so when my favorites are released on Thursday, I save them until Friday to dive in (sometimes on the weekend, but usually Friday while I take my boys for a walk).
5. Celebrate the Everyday Good Stuff
Maybe you received exciting news about a project this week at work or perhaps you purchased those long-saved for vacation tickets that you will be enjoying this upcoming spring, or better yet, you finally completed a much anticipated goal after months, or maybe years of work. Before the big weekend celebration with friends – if that is on your calendar – celebrate in your own way in the middle of the week with a delicious meal, a fun mini-outing, or simply a great glass of wine. When we take time in our everyday lives to celebrate small as well as grand things that tickle our appreciation and affection for life, we enrich our everydays and bolster our energy.
6. Wear Your Best on the Most Demanding Day of the Week, but have the Bubble Bath ready When You Get Home
If you know you have a demanding day at work on a particualr day during the week, save your best outfit that makes you feel your most confident, take the time to look and feel your best (maybe you become more energized when you work out in the morning, or perhaps you know that meditation helps to start your day), make sure all of your helpful habits are tended to, and then do your best as the day unfolds. As well, have that bubble bath ready to be enjoyed when you get home.
7. Have Your Favorite Tea/Coffee ready to be enjoyed each morning
Simple, but necessary – have a hot cup of tea or coffee (or whatever you enjoy to begin your day) ready to be enjoyed each day. For me, the feeling of something warm, gradually sipped as I break into my day is a habit that always helps the rest of the daily events unfold well, and is deeply missed when forgotten.
8. Bring flowers into the home
Whenever my week is off to a rocky start, I look around my house to see if I have fresh or well-tended to bouquets. There is something depressing for my mood when I see a vase full of dead or drooping flowers with dirty water that needs to be either refilled and the flowers recut or simply tossed. As soon as I bring fresh flowers into my home, I feel more renewed when I am at home which is extremely powerful for rejuvenating before the next day begins.
9. Add beautiful music as your work day soundtrack
Waking up to classical music, enjoying the day with French Cafe Music or tapping my toes to jazz music to keep my energy up in the afternoon, music (for me, non-lyrical is best, but everyone has their preference) is a powerful detail to lift the everyday whether we are at home, at work or in the middle of our commute.
~listen to TSLL’s Playlists here
10. Vote or get involved and participate in the world/community/country you want to live in
Not everyday will be a day you can vote. Here in Oregon, we mail in our ballots, so when my ballot arrived last week, I excitedly and eagerly read up on all of the issues and candidates I still had questions about, then, I cast my ballot. Just knowing I was participating, educating myself, examining the issues gave me a small, but significant sense of control.
So while we cannot vote everyday, as here in the states we are beginning to have the opportunity to do, we can choose to get involved, attend a council meeting, read up on a new issue, converse with our neighbors and build positive relationships, give of our time to the community or service project, in other words, become a positive contributing member of society.
11. Give the kindness you wish to receive, even if you don’t know if or when you will receive it in return
One of the details that made my not-so-wonderful day last week more palatable was the ubiquitous kindness that greeted me, offered to help and simply said hello, how are you. My spirits were buoyed by so many different people, from different walks of life, doing different jobs and it reminded me of how good people really are as well as how we can help others sometimes without even knowing we are doing so, simply by being kind and remembering we are all human.
For me, yesterday was a celebration for many reasons. Not only did my car return home, but a handful of other beautiful things happened that made me smile. So what did I do? I celebrated with a simple, but delicious meal, a glass of wine and a good book – yep, Ina Garten’s new cookbook ?.
Whether it is Tuesday, Friday or Wednesday, look for ways to enjoy the everyday in the middle of your work week. Who knows? You may just come to love the work week more than you ever thougth possible, and how awesome would that be? Seven days each week to anticipate! Now that is living well.
~SIMILAR POSTS FROM THE ARCHIVES YOU MIGHT ENJOY:
~How to Cultivate Your Surroundings For Everyday Contentment, episode #219