How do you make a bad day good?

“It’s not a difficult day…just a different day.”
I was lucky enough to learn this phrase from a wise old Tai Chi instructor on a beach. I wish I could remember his name so I could credit him. He was about 85 but had the energy and twinkle of a man 20 years his junior. He’d lived his life calmly, let life’s storms wash over him and dealt with them with grace and without fuss.
This ability to reframe the negative and casually normalise it was all in his mind. I hope to learn to have it in mine one day.
What words help you get past a bad day?

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28 responses

  1. My day’s just starting, but your cartoon and post have already made it brighter… : )

    1. Hi Mark, thanks for reconnecting. I’m inspired by your illustrations. You’ve just landed another follower!

  2. Grace is what I strive for, but often fail to hit the mark! Work in progress!

    1. Grace. Thanks for reminding me of that wonderful word. Have you ever heard “Grace,” the album by Jeff Buckley? It’s quite stunning.

  3. The song from the musical Annie. My mom used to sing it to me when I had a bad day…”The sun’ll come out, tomorrow, bet your bottom dollar, they’ll be sun.” I sing it to my kids now. Thank you for a great post.

    1. What a fantastic memory and remedy. I must check that Annie soundtrack out. Thanks :)

  4. “This, too, shall pass.”

    1. Remembering impermanence is a helpful thing, isn’t it? Thanks, I like your saying. I’ll tuck that one away as a note to self when things go awry. ;)

  5. I always liked, “Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, today is a gift that’s why it’s called ‘the present’.

    1. This is a great one, thanks a lot.

  6. What a beautiful quote.

    Another one that I love is “Just because today is a terrible day, doesn’t mean tomorrow won’t be the best day of your life. You just gotta get there…”

    1. Nice one. I like your avatar btw.

  7. Perhaps it sounds a little black, but sometimes I tell myself – in 500 years no-one will give a f***!!
    It’s a way of making myself smile – but also of putting my troubles into perspective. Is it REALLY such a big deal? We are, after all, just clouds of cosmic dust that learned to smile :)

    1. Nice. Direct and cuts through. Perspective is so important, I agree. Thanks for that.

  8. “Progress is progress.” It’s a shorthand quote of my own I use to remind myself that any progress at all is movement in the right direction. It doesn’t all have to get done at once, it just has to be moving at all. Baby steps are still steps. Progress is progress.

    1. Hi Jessica. I’m liking your quote. It gives power to small achievements and takes the pressure off. Very appropriate to me today as I stayed up too late blogging last night and suffered today with fatigue! Smaller steps (less blogging) would have been equally fine.

  9. Wow. I love this quote a lot. Thanks for sharing- I’ll definitely keep this in mind the next time I wake up on the wrong side of the bed XD

    1. Hiya, thanks for that. I guess every days are different in their own way.

  10. 12 Steps and other wisdom pontificate that it’s a matter or attitude and how you look at things. I don’t see losing one’s job and the house burning down as a “growth opportunity”.

    1. Carl, I am feeling the energy of your comment and totally agree with you. All the positive attitude in the world will not bring back a destroyed house. There are days for which we have to hold our hands up and say life can be shit. I’m the first to admit. I’ve held the hands of loved ones whilst they pass away, been made redundant twice and cried at the funeral of my best friend, aged 23. Probably nothing compared to most people but I understand what you’re saying. Every idea has a flaw if you look hard enough and the pain of a sad memory of a tragic day is hard to shift. I can’t begin how tough it would be to lose your house and I’m deeply moved. It makes me want to help in some small way. Still, I believe in hope at least and so for all those other days, no matter how hard, I try to perceive things in the way that I do. I wish you what I can from where I can.

  11. Cheers. I like your quote a lot too. It’s on your home page if I remember rightly. A good mate of mine has done some week-long meditation retreats ( pranayama, I think) and he mentioned that seeing everything as “temporary” was key to first acknowledging pain and then letting it float away…Have you done much meditation?

    1. Yes, meditation (pranayam) is an important part of my life. I do it every morning and it is a great way to start the day. Have you done pranayam or any other meditation?

      1. That’s dedication. I practise ashtanga yoga about 4 times a week in the mornings before work, which tends to be an implicitly meditative process. I end it with 5 minutes simple breathing meditation. Learning more about meditation and doing it for longer stretches would no doubt help me as I tend to be active both mentally and physically. I tried sitting in silence for 6 bouts of half an hour with a group of meditators once and found it hard yet rewarding. I would very much welcome any practical suggestions or recommendations you may have. :)

  12. Really nice phrase, I would love to keep it in my favorite quotes list.

    I love a quote that helped me past the bad days:
    “Everything in life is temporary. So if things are going good, enjoy it because it won’t last forever. And if things are going bad, don’t worry. It can’t last forever either.”

    1. Thanks for that, it would be great to have a quote in your favourites list. Like your quote too.

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