It's a Great Day to be Alive

It's a great day to be alive; I know the sun's still shining when I close my eyes. There's some hard times in the neighborhood, but why can't every day be just this good?

Before the transformational experience of being diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, I don't know that I would have considered myself a consistently positive or optimistic individual. I admit that I let the world make me cold, and often only saw the good in pronounced positive outcomes, instead of the frequent silver linings life with chronic illness necessitates that you find. My brother, on the other hand, has always taken the positive at face value. 

I would ask him, "How was your day?" and he would say, "Good." (Teenage boys are very selective with budgeting their words.)

Hoping to get a little more out of him, I would say, "What made it a good day?" and he would say, "Nothing bad happened." 

That's it.

Nothing bad happened, therefore, it was a good day.

That is some simple, but mind-blowing perspective right there. 

There are days where I'm actually surprised when the thought crosses my mind that, "I am happy today. I feel great," when nothing of note has occurred. In that moment, I'm just realizing that a day can be good just by virtue of being; even better if the day is void of bad.

When times are tough, it's those shiny slivers of a silver lining that make the difference between drowning, or dog-paddling your way towards a better day. When times are great, having the ability to be grateful for not just the pronounced positive outcomes, but also the simple joys, allows us to maintain an attitude of gratitude in our chaotic lives. I don't know about you, but I don't want to spend my life leaping from major accomplishment to the next, hungering for nextnextnext. I've already spent too many years in my short life having done that, and it is no way to live. I want to find joy in the day to day. Life is short. No happiness to waste. Choosing happiness every single day, squeezing tiny droplets of good out in the absence of "bad", taking one single, solitary moment at a time, letting each feeling (good/bad/indifferent) have its moment before fleeting--now that's the way I want to live.

No matter what happens, I know I am thankful for my family, the roof over my head, the insulin in my refrigerator, and the promise that each breath I am given is another moment of opportunity. These things, and others just like them, are things that help to maintain true appreciation for life's blessings.

So here's something: live with child-like wonder. Take moments of appreciation for a beautiful sunrise (on your way to a very early day at work), the beep-beep-beep of a pump or CGM in a quiet room (and the giggle you suppress when everyone checks their cellphones), or some other novel, unexpected beauty or humor that could just as easily be considered a nuisance.

Hey, you and I? We're doing alright.

 

I'm feeling pretty good, and that's the truth...I'm just doing alright.

 

Music video by Travis Tritt performing It's a Great Day to Be Alive. (C) 2000 SONY BMG MUSIC ENTERTAINMENT