Have you ever heard this quote before? I don’t remember the full and exact text of the quote. Maybe I’m thinking of Charles Dickens’s “It was the best of times, and the worst of times,” which is the opening line of his piece “Great Expectations.” In any event, it is an oddly profound sentiment. It defines our world — not every day will be good, and not every day will be bad. Instead, there is a mixture of both.
What, then, are the implications of this assumption, that not every day will be good and that not every day will be bad? Perhpas it means we will need to be able to deal with both good days and bad days in productive ways. We’ll have to handle them and learn from them.
I believe the best days of our lives aren’t the days we learn. They aren’t the days from which we reap the greatest benefit. Rather, it’s the difficult days that drive us to better ourselves. It’s the bad days that show us where we are going wrong and, if you’re lucky, they show us how we can make a course correction.
Good days offer more nuanced lessons. They reinforce our confidence and give us a bit of a break from worrying and fixing. We may rest. As we reflect upon the good days, we see the value in rest and quiet.
I wonder how good days and bad days shape a man like me. All I know is that they do and that awareness is a kind first step.
Originally written on November 18, 2014, edited & published just over a year later.