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The Best Part Of A Day

The Best Part Of A Day

Hello and good day!

Here is a fun and uplifting exercise. When you go through your day, intentionally pay attention to which parts are the best.

Which moments really touch your heart and make you happy to be alive?

I've done a fair amount of reading on the formation of habits and routines. If I've understood correctly, habits are a way for your brain to save on energy.

When you do the same activities over and over again, neural pathways form in your brain. The electrical transmissions between neurons that stimulate action flow through the established grooves and cause you to act.

When the grooves are deep and wide from long stretches of repetition, you find yourself acting almost on autopilot.

Doing something new means that your body has to work on creating new grooves, which results in an additional expenditure of energy, and our bodies are hard wired to fight the urge towards unnecessary wastes of energy.

This is why forming new habits is so hard. Your body is fighting you on it.

This is also why forming good habits is so crucial.

Much of the self-help and success literature is centered around habit formation.

If you've got good habits, you will produce good results automatically and almost unconsciously.

On the other hand, bad habits give you bad results and you may not even be fully cognizant as to why things are turning out so poorly.

I mention all of that as a precursor to what I'd really like to talk about.

Even if you have good habits, our natural cognitive tendency is to go about our day in the most energy efficient way possible.

And this means not really paying attention to what we're doing, but rather just doing what we're wired to do.

To stop and smell the roses, as they say, is not as easy as it sounds.

We see the roses out there in front of the dentist's office, but our to do list says to go to the dentist, not smell roses, and our habit is to do what is on the list, so we walk right by the roses.

I'm as guilty of this as anybody. Too many good things pass me by unnoticed.

But yesterday, I woke up with a mission.

My mission was to stop and notice as many good things as I could, register them, remember them, and appreciate them.

The result of this experiment was that I had one of my best days ever, even though nothing big or very out of the ordinary happened.

I know that I won't have enough space to list very much, but here is just a smattering of what I observed.

Cats yearn for attention the same way little kids do.

We have outdoor cats. I am fond of them.

We used to keep chickens in our back yard and chicken feed attracted rats and mice. We bought the cats to regulate the rodent population.

There are two of them and they are brothers and we've had them for going on five years. In the morning, when I come down from bed, they scratch at the back door window. I always write it off as them being hungry.

I go out to our shed in the dark and the cold, and sometimes in the rain, and scoop them a bowl full of food from a big bin in the shed.

Then I come back inside and begin to write.

But yesterday I paid closer attention. I poured their food into their metal bowl and came back inside.

The screeching sound of cat nails on glass continued and I saw that they were still out there scratching.

That was strange. I wondered why.


I went back out and saw that they weren't interested in the food that I had just served them.

I stood there and the two little guys began to swirl back and forth, rubbing their heads and bodies against my legs. All this time, they've been wanting me to stand there for a few minutes so they could rub against me.

They wanted some attention. Well, I'll be darned.

i stood in the dark and saw that the moon was still out, even though it was morning. The sky was lightly cloudy, and the wind blew thin wispy clouds across the face of the moon, and I could see the outlines of the clouds as they crossed through the moonlight.

The cold of the morning went into my skin and into my lungs and I felt the pressure of little animal heads pressing against my feet and legs.

This is a great way to start a morning. I've been missing out.

As a general rule of life, little kids will light you up and there are plenty of them all over the place to take a gander at.

I've got three living in my house.

Because life is busy, I normally default into our morning routine when they wake up, getting them ready for the day, feeding them, hurrying them along, etc.

But yesterday I took a few minutes to just sit on the couch and watch them.

They are hilarious.

A very charming thing that little kids do is tell you their entire plan for the day with wonderful enthusiasm.

I heard everybody's plans and then my middle son pretended to be an old monkey who doesn't move so well. He did that for several minutes and we had some laughs.

Many cuties came into our chocolate shop throughout the day, all bundled up with their noses and cheeks red from the cold.

A little boy who didn't speak yet had learned to communicate using hand signals. His mother gave him a little piece of chocolate. He rubbed his fingers together and then she gave him another.

I asked her what the hand signal meant, and she said, "more".

"Smart boy," I said.

"Too smart," said the mother.

After a very long day of work, I ran into a family of chocolate shop customers in the grocery store on my way home. They have a little girl who was sitting in a shopping cart eating an apple.

The apple was far too big for her, and it barely fit in her hand.

But she was ravenous and making great progress, even though her mouth almost wasn't big enough to fit around the surface so that she could take a bite.

A little girl eating a big apple.

I promise you that there is no two-minute stretch of content anywhere on Netflix, Youtube, or all of social media, more pleasing to watch than seeing a little girl, live and in person, lost in the moment, fully enraptured by the task of eating an apple that is far too big for her.

Most of us will walk right by these moments, eager to pay and finish and move on to the next thing.

I'm already running long now, so I can't transcribe the crazy conversation I heard between two young clerks in the checkout line.

I normally wouldn't listen in, I'd have no desire to, but yesterday was a day for paying close attention.

The conversation ended with the cashier saying to the bag boy, "well maybe I will put a chicken's leg in my mop bucket at home, just for good luck."

It made me laugh hard and I couldn't stop laughing.

The two fellows who were talking saw me laughing and they started to laugh too. Now the three of us were laughing uncontrollably in an otherwise quiet and tame grocery store.

I haven't laughed like that in a while. I had forgotten how good a real, hard, belly laugh is.

This is a very tiny snapshot of all the good stuff I saw yesterday.

I forced myself out of habit mode and had my best day in a long time.

It takes some effort, but it is worth it.

Thank you so much for time today.

I hope that you have a truly blessed day!


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