by Dave Markwell

Today, as the morning fog drifted delicately above the saltwater and the mountains above the sea shone red and orange from the sunrise, life felt pretty good. I looked out my living room window and felt peace. This does not always happen. Life is a funny business.

Yesterday, I woke up before my alarm in a frenzied state of worry. My mind buzzed with unlikely fantasies of bad outcomes. I was stressed and worried and felt no peace. My life has changed very little during the twenty-four hours in-between my mornings, which begged the question: If nothing was different, why was everything so different?

In pondering this likely eternal question, I have no good answer except to say that, I just felt different. How and why was this so, given that no precipitous event occurred? Well, hell if I know. I wish I did. Unlocking this mystery, I suspect, is the key to unlocking many other mysteries.

Perhaps the only answer is that we have good days and we have bad days. Life may be like the stock market, in that we have fluctuations. We invest our days into our lives and, provided we keep showing up, contributing our good bits, caring and trying and keeping some faith, we wind up with a rich portfolio full of funny stories and sweet memories. The key is not getting too bound up by the down days. They happen. Applying more weight to them than they carry only taints our good days.
And this is a disaster.

Today, I can playfully argue with my daughter about breakfast options. Yesterday, the argument would not have been playful. The ripple effect of our moods is powerful stuff. This little girl that I love more than any other left the house with a head-shaking smile. Yesterday, she would have left with a scowl and tears in her eyes. Such is our power to affect others. We can the break the hearts of those whose hearts we care for most. So, while each day we invest in our own lives, we also invest in the stories of our kids’ lives. And, for any parent, this story in far more important than our own. That’s why it’s important to let the bad days go…quick.

So, after shaking the dust off of a sucky day, today I see glowing mountains and potential. It’s all perspective. It’s always all perspective…

[EDITOR’S NOTE:”Feel Good Friday” is a regular column written by Des Moines resident Dave Markwell, whose first book is called “A Feel Good Life” (buy it on Amazon here). Dave also extols to all neighbors: “Enjoy where we live. Put your feet on the pavement and truly feel how great it is to live here!” Also, you can “friend” Dave on Facebook here. Or work out with him at his exercise company Waterland Fitness]

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