32. Every Day Is a Good Day

32. Every Day Is a Good Day

From Chicken Soup for the Soul: The Power of Gratitude

Every Day Is a Good Day

If you don’t think every day is a good day, just try missing one.

~Cavett Robert

“That’s it. This is my last Christmas season working a retail job!” Those were the words I had uttered almost a year ago.

But here I was again, looking at aisles stocked with Christmas merchandise that we’d been receiving for the last four months. Our extended holiday hours would start the next week. I was still working retail, despite the pronouncement I’d made at the end of the last Christmas season.

I couldn’t quit. I was in the midst of extensive dental work that would take another three months to complete. I needed the dental insurance and I needed the paychecks.

So here I was, locked into another holiday sales cycle, with the long hours, the demanding work, a new manager who pushed-pushed-pushed, and a store filled with stressed and irritable shoppers.

Our co-manager — the nice one, so I’ll call him Angel — had a pet phrase he often used. It was his attempt to inspire us and remind us that we were in charge of our attitudes. “Every day’s a good day!” he’d bellow as he unlocked the doors to let us in. “Welcome to where happy people come to work. Where every day’s a good day.”

Most of us, in our pre-caffeinated, still bleary-eyed state, mumbled a greeting in return. It was usually along the lines of “yeah, yeah” or “right,” said as sarcastically as possible. We didn’t appreciate Angel’s “every day’s a good day” line one bit.

And then one day I left work even more frustrated, aggravated, and angry than usual. It was one of those days when I would have given my notice in an instant. Except I couldn’t. Not yet. I felt trapped.

Whether I agreed with the statement or not, I starting replying with positive words.

For the first few minutes in the car I screamed at the top of my lungs. I shrieked. I yelled words that I typically don’t use. I would be hoarse for the next two days.

That’s when I knew that something had to change. I started listening to the words I told myself: “I’m too old for this. I’m too tired for this. I’ll never make it through Christmas. I can’t keep going like this. I don’t have the energy to deal with this.” I realized how negative the words I spoke to myself were.

The first change I made was in response to Angel’s morning greeting. He’d say, “Every day’s a good day!” Instead of scoffing, laughing or coming back with a smart aleck response, I’d answer, “Yes! Yes it is.” Whether I agreed with the statement or not, I starting replying with positive words.

Next, I made a list of affirmations — positive statements to read aloud before I went to work each day:

• I am flying through this Christmas season with ease.

• My energy levels are higher than ever.

• I enjoy my job and am thankful for the benefits I receive from it.

• I complete my tasks easily and quickly.

• I am drawn to foods that keep me healthy and give me energy.

• This is the easiest holiday season I’ve ever worked through.

I started looking for other positive methods. I didn’t want to merely survive these frantic months. I wanted to maintain a peaceful demeanor and have the energy to enjoy a happy home life after the work hours ended.

A CD with peaceful, meditative music caught my eye in the store. It turned out to be one of the best purchases I ever made. I listened to it on the way to work, to gear up for a good day. I listened to it on the way home, to calm down after a long, busy day.

One change that made the largest impact in my life was consciously developing an “Attitude of Gratitude.” When I found myself reverting back to my negative, grumbling ways, I would deliberately shift my mind to an attitude of gratitude state. I would remind myself of all the good things:

• I’m thankful that I have a car to get me here.

• I’m thankful that all my limbs are working.

• I’m thankful I can walk into work without assistance.

• I’m thankful to have a job and an income.

• I’m thankful I have eyes to see.

• I’m thankful I have the intelligence to do the math I need to properly do my job.

• I’m thankful I have a warm, dry house to go home to.

• I’m thankful for my children and grandchildren’s health.

• I’m thankful the car is paid off.

• I’m thankful there’s gas in the car.

• I’m thankful there are groceries in the house.

As I started listing the multitude of reasons I had to be thankful, the list kept expanding. And as the list grew, the minor aggravations of my job seemed to shrink in comparison.

Another lesson I learned was to go easy on myself. If I had a bad day, one when I slipped back into negativity, instead of berating myself, I needed to accept my own imperfection. We all have bad days, and we move on from them.

Before I knew it, with consistent conscious thought, every day was a good day. One by one, they passed, and soon the Christmas season was behind us.

I not only survived, I thrived. And now I can join Angel and proudly proclaim: “Every day’s a good day!”

~Trisha Faye

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