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This is a great day. April 17, 2014

Posted by Jenny in grief, hiking, Life experience, Smoky Mountains.
A morning in the mountains.

A morning in the mountains.

Undoubtedly you, my blog readers, have figured out that I’ve been going through a tough time. Last year was difficult for me. It had to do with recreating myself as a solitary woman rather than a female likely to bond with a man. Then, this year, I lost a companion of 15 years—our relationship had changed from “boyfriend/girlfriend” to “friend,” but still with him I lost a whole enormous world of shared experiences, weird humor, funny musical tastes, and a kind of defiant skepticism.

I can’t be other than a skeptic. That is who I am. I cannot be religious, no matter how much comfort that would give me. I do not judge anyone about that. Religion is right for others, wrong for me.

I do not aspire to be a “nice” person. I do want to be kind to others. But my view of the world has too many sharp edges for the warm and fuzzy world of niceness. I can be cranky, weird, annoying, and critical. That is who I am.

But, I have come across an idea. It is very simple. It is, that today is a great day. Just by deliberate choice. I was thinking about this today in connection with a great article about day-to-day life on an aircraft carrier. It is in the current issue of The New Yorker, by Geoff Dyer. Every day, over the ship’s PA system, the captain tells the crew that it’s “a great day to be at sea.” This becomes kind of a joke with the crew, for in reality each day is pretty much indistinguishable from others. Yet he persists in saying this.

And he is absolutely right.





1. Kent Hackendy - April 18, 2014

We live in a culture that places such a high premium on being a part of a couple; that doesn’t to value solitariness in the least. I’ve always felt that one should strive to be complete on their own, but that’s not a very common or popular notion in western society, I’m afraid. I think it’s always a “great day” when you have a strong sense of who you are and have carved out a life fitting of those characteristics – regardless of what turmoil you might be experiencing at the moment.

What you’ve written here will resonate with many, I’m sure. I sent this to a good friend of mine who just happens to be a female about your age. She was very impressed with your writing and got what you were saying immediately.

Jenny - April 18, 2014

Thanks very much, Kent. I’m happy that my message resonated with your friend as well as with you.

2. Jim Cornelius - April 19, 2014

Since the day is the only day we have, I strive to consider it great even when it sucks.

Jenny - April 19, 2014


3. Peter Bennett - April 20, 2014

This brings to mind the quote attributed to Abraham Lincoln:
“Folks are usually about as happy as they make their minds up to be.”

4. Al - April 20, 2014

My Aunt in Bryson City told me ” every day or partial day spent in the Smokies would earn me an extra day of life on the back end” .

5. norman medford - April 22, 2014

That picture of morning sun through trees is so beautiful. how can it not be a great day!? I’v got to get your book “murder at the jumpoff”.

Jenny - April 22, 2014

Thank you! I agree, that has to be a great day, in its brilliance.

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