Today Is A Wonderful Day
“Today is a wonderful day. I have not seen this one before.” – Maya Angelou. It jumped off the screen as I scrolled through LinkedIn Jobs. Someone had posted this quote and I was captivated. I could hear her deep warm voice, her particular cadence and elocution and yet, I’d never heard that quote before. It was exactly what I needed to hear.
I Have Not Seen This One Before
Today IS a wonderful day for precisely that reason: I have not seen this one before. What a fantastic way to greet the world each morning. Proclaiming the wonder of something new is a habit we often lose once we leave childhood. There have been times in my life when all I could think about was getting through the minute, the moment, the hour. Times when I wished time away so I could get to the weekend or a vacation.
Each Passing Year
But, with each passing year, I realize how valuable my time was and wish I had appreciated it more. It seems almost a plague in our culture to work away the time we have while hoping to have a chance to enjoy it when we are almost too old to do so. But – bills need to be paid – kids gotta eat. I feel I have missed many important events, milestones, and moments because I was afraid to take time off. I do, however, remember the shift.
Counted among those precious memories when I chose family over work was the day my daughter desperately wanted me to come to her school recital. I had only begun working this particular new job a few months before and I told her I would be unable to make it. She was broken hearted. I went to work and then could not think – I found a way to take off the time to make the trip to her school and sit in one of the front rows. All the children were smiling and waving at their parents except my little girl. She stood stoically, blank faced, staring unfocused into the audience. I began waving like mad to try to get her attention. And then I did. And then she broke. the smoke and smile spread across her face just before the sobs of relief began wracking her tiny body. She got through the song and I was able to stay long enough to give her hugs at the end before I returned to work. At that moment I didn’t care if I got a bad write up or reprimanded. All that mattered was her.
There were many times like that and many when I didn’t come despite desperately wanting to. Times when family first had to be measured between wages and wonderful memories. I wish I had always chosen wonderful memories. In the news are all these stories about The Great Resignation or Quiet Quitting and I think it all boils down to people realizing that they are missing the wonder of life. They are missing their children grow up, making memories with their family, pursuing their dreams and hobbies. In short, they are missing out on everything that makes life wonderful and have decided that the when it comes down to wage vs. wonder – wonder wins.
A Better Way
We need a better way. These moments should be the cornerstone of life and they certainly contribute immeasurably to creating a happy workforce. There was a time when a single salary was enough to clothe, feed, and house a family. Now it takes at least two. Being able to spend time with family or pursue your dreams shouldn’t be a luxury item attainable only for the top earners in society. It should be a baseline. Perhaps, then more and more people will be able to wake up each day and say as Maya Angelou did, “Today is a wonderful day. It is not one I have seen before.”