You could have a good day.

Some of my friends work with people who don’t have many days of breathing left. They sometimes ask a simple question: “What would be a good day for you?”

Patrick Riecke encouraging caregiversFor someone who has machines and drugs and pain and a failing body, it’s a way to find the things that matter. “A good day is when I can talk with the people I love most and I can see the sky.” “A good day is when I can encourage one other person.” “A good day is when I can finish one thing, like getting dressed.”

For those of us with long lists of tasks that never get done, those items seem trivial. As a result, even if we talk to the people we love and we can see the sky, if we haven’t gotten to the end of our list, we look at our days as bad.

I’m in the middle of a few long days between two of my jobs. If you are a regular here, you’ve seen that I’ve brought back some old posts because I couldn’t concentrate on writing. And if I make the only measure of a good day getting a new post written, these have been days of failure. (You know the feeling. I know you do.)

But what if a good day is speaking words of affirmation to people I care about and care for? As I wrote in December, what if it’s encouraging the disheartened? Almost any day can be a good day. “I spilled coffee. And I didn’t get those three things done as well as I wanted. But I looked in his eyes and told him why his service has mattered. So, it was a good day.”

Take a couple of minutes. Answer the question. Even if you couldn’t move much, “What would be a good day for you?”

And do it.