How to Have a Great Day

how to have a great day erika downhill mountain bikingI sat on my couch, late this past Sunday evening, with only one thought: “Damn, that was a good day.”

And in all honesty, it was the first good day I’ve had in a very long time.

Maybe you remember one of my more recent posts, Making Space, where I talked about priorities. I’ve been in go-go-go mode since February (when this new site launched) and I’ve been a bit of an asshole to myself in the process.

I got into yet another (albeit, short lived) relationship thing with someone who wasn’t showing up. I ended it. It felt shitty.

I’ve glazed over multiple opportunities to get out of town and do something for me, traveling only for business on in-and-out schedules that would have me fire my travel agent if my travel agent weren’t me.

I’ve spent days on end working at home, shunning daylight and humans. This happens with introverts. I think, “Fuck, I am isolated” so many times a week yet I do fuckall about it.

This past weekend, I’d made plans to take my first downhill mountain biking trip of the season. It’s something I love and I can only describe it as bike-flavored meth (without all that nasty shit happening to your teeth and family). On Saturday, however, I found myself dialing the resort and seeing if I could move my equipment reservation to July 4th weekend.

I had so much work to do. So very much work…I couldn’t even see taking a day off to drive 3 hours round trip to do something I loved.

Well, it seemed that the universe was on my side — I got an answering machine at the resort (oh haiii, 1993 — your customer service model called). Looked like it was:

  • find a way to get enough shit done where I didn’t think about work all day long if I went to ride, or
  • stay home, lose $150, and be pissed about it.

So, here’s a guide that I wrote to help anyone else who’s having a hard time finding a good day….have a GREAT day:

  1. Wallow over your work load at home over a beer and some unhealthy food item. You know, the food item you’re eating because the only time you left the house that day was to obtain said food item because you’re so fucking busy. You think that no one knows that you have this toxic food item, when the truth is that everyone knows and the only effort you made to obtain it was rolling down your driver’s side window. (Lemme know if I’m hitting too close to home.)
  2. Find the phone number required to cancel those plans you made. You know, the plans well outside most normal human beings’ work hours (like weekends or after 6pm on a weekday). Keep it handy.
  3. Rehearse what you’ll say when you call your friend who’s going with you to said plans. You know, the friend you invited when you initiated making those plans. It really helps to imagine the conversation your friend will have with his or her significant other when you pull your patented Too Much Work cancellation move. You also know exactly the conversation I’m talking about, as it’s the one that comes after the email, text or call where they say, “That’s a total bummer! No sweat, yeah, sorry you can’t make it.” It sounds like this, “You owe me $20.” By this point, you’ve become a self-fulfilling (and flaky) prophecy.
  4. Stop wallowing, don’t dial, and quit having those useless conversations in your head. Go the fuck to sleep, wake up, and do what you planned on doing.
  5. Have a great fucking day. As a supplemental strategy, I can also recommend beer and looking at cute guys in their full body armor.

Why I wrote this post

It’s not to lament about how shitty my life is — because it’s really anything but. I wrote it because I know you do the same thing. You’re party to the same self-defeating cycle of I CAN’T BECAUSE (fill in the blank). I own my own business because it’s my MUST — I can’t imagine doing anything else with my life. I mean, unless Robin Thicke somehow becomes something I can do in my life, which is unlikely but should that be the case, I still won’t quit my gig but I will make time for Afternoon Delight.

But I digress.

When’s the last time you cancelled living because you had too much work?

Boo-fucking-hoo, buttercup. That’s a fine way to cancel out the reasons you even work in the first place.

So — what’s it going to be:

  • Declarations that you’re neck-deep in ambition but knee-deep in bandwidth (something I actually texted to a dear friend last week when she asked how I was doing), or
  • …living?

The only way to have a great day — one that makes your spleen smile — is to face what you don’t want to face: you’re a bit of an asshole to yourself and and could rationalize the stripes off a tiger.

I needed a reminder of what life looks like when I take the time to live it. That’s why I had a good day this weekend. I spent five hours riding up ski lifts and bombing downhill on a bike while covered in full body armor. Who the fuck thinks that’s living?

This girl.

And the best part? When I got home that evening, I was actually amped to finish up a few projects before calling it a day.

Stop being an asshole.

Stop thinking that it’s okay to make excuses if you’re using “work” as the excuse.

Go find your version of “fuck yeah” and saddle that bitch up like a capybara and ride, motherfucker, ride.

I had a great day on Sunday — and when you find yourself tearing up because you actually broke down and let yourself have some fun…that’s a pretty good indication that some shit somewhere needs to change. And dollface, the only one who’s gonna change it?

You. Or that capybara. But my money’s on you.

PS: I should never have started googling images of caybaras. POPSICLE.

 

19 comments
knotbygranma
knotbygranma

Making my spleen smile today... that's a good reminder to be kinder to myself and get more fun in. Love this.

taocoach
taocoach

Capybaras always make me think of ROUS from the Princess Bride!This was right on time for me!

Jennifer Kent
Jennifer Kent

I actually got goosebumps reading the guide...it was like you read my mind/life. 

I almost canceled out on yet another day of fun in the name of work this morning. But then I looked at my daughter (in kindergarten) and though HELL NO. I am not missing out on one of her last days of school this year. And I am so glad that I went! 

I have to print this post off and post it by my damn computer so I remember to enjoy more fun days this summer. Thanks :)

ExtremelyAvg
ExtremelyAvg

When I clicked on the "Afternoon Delight" I was suspecting a video for Starland Vocal Band's 1976 #1 hit about a cheeseburger from a famous DC restaurant where the band liked to eat. (No, it wasn't about sex, despite what you might have assumed) Needless to say, I chuckled at the unicorns. Well played!

Latest blog post: Three Good Hashtags

1WineDude
1WineDude

Capybara purr when they are happy. I AM NOT MAKING THIS SHIZZ UP! Met one in Uruguay, at a winery, and the 'lil f*cker was following me around like a puppy. Awesome.

John_Trader1
John_Trader1

Who would have thought that work could ever possibly get in the way of living? Welcome to the new culture that is increasingly embedded deep in our sub-conscious that in order to success, you must shun life. My therapeutic suggestion is that everyone take a moment and stop to read this post and gain some perspective. I know I did. Thank you. 

JackieDotson
JackieDotson

That's not a capybara. That's my dog whenever somebody whips out a popsicle. He morphs from a 14 pound dachshund into a 50 pound gigantic truck of "giveittomeNOWdammit".

But I digress. It's soooooooo soooooooper easy to fall into the  cycle of bailing out on shit that matters because you have "too much work to do." Shit that matters is important but because it isn't urgent and emergent, we blow it off. Down the road we learn the importance---when we're burned out, or when our pants really no longer fit or when our friends drift away.

My advice to myself and the rest of the world is: KNOCK THAT SHIT OFF. There's always too much work to do. And when I am doing my work, guess what, I get distracted and I waste time. When I actually sat down and did the math and calculated the time that is spent on idle waste (ahem social media) I quit feeling bad about reading for an hour or going for a ride or run and I just do it. 

And guess what? It's MUCH MUCH easier to resist the siren call of time wasters and focus on what needs to get done now when you aren't depriving yourself of shit that matters. Entrepreneurs are ridiculously good at playing the martyr card.

So I am guessing that after all that mountain biking, you're way more productive? 

Thank you so much for giving this very real world example that we can all relate to. 

MadeBetter
MadeBetter

How often I find myself in this very similar situation. Thank you for the reminder that it's the recreating that keeps me creating my best work. :)

KellyTwigger
KellyTwigger

It's SO annoying to read about myself in print.  Thank you!   


MelissaWaldronLehner
MelissaWaldronLehner

Fuck yeah, I want me a Capybara! And a Great Day. I want that too! Will I do anything about it? Boo hoo is right, I need a fucking life. For realz.

KillianMIck
KillianMIck

Yes, yes, yes. I am driving 3hrs each way this Sunday to park my ass on a beach just for the afternoon. Why? Because I fucking well need it. I am a beach girl, and nothing heals my soul like the salt water and sand. But I've been putting it off for a month because I had too much shit to do. Fuck that.  It's time to shove my crutches in the sand, drop my knee brace into its bag, and let my husband and son help me into the water. 

After that? Flaming Amys for dinner. My all time favorite place to eat in Wilmington. Because I want it. And because I damn well deserve a day off.

CindiFoothold
CindiFoothold

Get your damned cameras off my life screen and your brain reading skills Out. Of. My. Head.

KenFlask
KenFlask

I want a motherf**king Capybara....I will use it to ride on rainbows...hunt down unicorns, slay them, take their horns and use the  horns to stab life right in the nards...THAT is how I am going to get unstuck!

ashleygraceless
ashleygraceless

So much love for this post. And for capybaras. (Thanks, Bill Peet.) Thanks for writing it at the exact time I needed it. <3

Trackbacks

  1. […] a small business owner and being one myself. And then my favorite person ever, Erika Napoletano posted this (YES, YOU HAVE TO READ IT), and I realized that sometimes, you just need to TREAT. YO. SELF. […]