Hearing people talk about having a “bad day” was always something that seemed natural to me. Of course people had bad days. Unfortunate or frustrating occurrences were bound to put a damper on people. It only made sense that when these events took place, moods or attitudes could change these disappointing events into an entire disappointing 24 hours. In my mind, people were victim to their emotions and should be allowed to be upset or sad simply because of something going wrong in their lives. Now, don’t get me wrong, not all emotions or feelings can or should be totally oppressed and locked away, but they shouldn’t take over either.
I remember (very vividly) my dad telling me “don’t let your emotions overcome you”. That was so frustrating to me. I got an awful mark on a test! Of course I will be mad about it! Of course it made my day bad. How could he expect otherwise? Someone spoke unkindly to me or made fun of me! Of course I should be angry at them and spend my entire night frustrated at their belligerence! “Don’t let your emotions take over, Emma.” Again and again, my dad offered me this golden advice that I decided to push away. Finally, I realized the truth in what he was saying. He wasn’t telling me not to feel. He wasn’t telling me to never cry or to never get upset. Instead, he was telling me to allow myself that moment of frustration and then get over it. Suppressing my feelings would have been detrimental to my mental health but allowing them to consume my entire being could have the exact same effect. I could let myself be upset about hardships and then choose to be happy despite them. If there was anything that I could do to fix the issue, I would do it. If it was out of my control, I would just move on. This realization, thanks to my brilliant father, soon led to another.
I once saw an idea which portrayed a miniature calendar spotted with different colours. The legend adjacent to the calendar explained that each colour had a correlating mood or emotion. Essentially, you would fill out this calendar for the month to take notice of how many happy/sad, good/bad days that you had over a 30 day period. Being the most unartistic person to ever walk this earth, I didn’t make the calendar but, I began to pay attention to my days. Over time, I noticed that some weeks were made up mostly of bad days. As soon as I was annoyed or sad or upset in any way, that day was labeled as bad. But why? What was the point of bad days? How did they benefit me? (Spoiler, they didn’t)
So, I decided that I would never have bad days anymore. They didn’t help me and they didn’t help anyone else, so why have them at all? In the end it really was up to me, right? I could have bad moments, bad experiences, etc, but why label the entire day as a “bad” day when there were good things in it too?
I began to search for the good in my days with an increased energy, being more thorough and persistent. Some days, it’s really difficult to find the good things. Some days I feel pretty tempted to give up searching and just allow myself one bad day, but then something good happens; something good always happens. Birds singing, or your favourite dinner, or rain, or a smile from a stranger are all good things. Even if everything else is bad, if you can discover that tiny ray of sunshine, then it can be a happy day. A room cannot be dark with even the smallest inkling of light within.
Today, due to my eyes still attempting to adjust to my new glasses, I’ve had a pounding headache all day. A throbbing, aching head is not the easiest negative factor to ignore for an entire day, but thinking back, I can find a lot more positive to outweigh it. The sunshine was out today, I wore shorts and a t-shirt and was warm enough, my friend and I got a lot done on our project for school, we got to read outside in the grass for another class, I got to watch adorable little people run around and play in the sandbox after school, and so on and so on. All of that, and it’s only 6:07! I can’t even imagine how many more positives are to come today.