“This is the best day of my life,” said my 7-year-old daughter after we came back home from a birthday party at the local Bowling place. She loves bowling and she even skipped the cake to keep playing. A week ago I had lunch with her at a Mexican restaurant and then she went to gymnastics where she got a free fidget spinner and she proclaimed that “this is the best day of my life”. A month ago we went to the neighborhood park and she biked and played with a ball for nearly two hours and after we finished our lunch of PB&J she said that that was the best day of her life.
I have been ignoring her statements and even dismissed them as naive, wondering how a day of bowling would be the best day of someone’s life. But lately, I’ve been thinking – what if I am the naive and confused one and my daughter has been right all along. So I started thinking about the best days of my life and marked mentally the significant milestone events – my wedding day, my graduations, the births of my daughters. No, I concluded, these are not the best days of my life even though they were full of positive emotional energy. The best days of my life, I discovered, were the quiet days that I spent in Nature – strolling along the seashore, breathing the crisp air during a hike in the park, or stargazing in the summer. Those were the moments when I could truly feel the presence of God. Some of the best days of my life also involved spending quality time with my husband and going to the movies (we both are big Sci-Fi movie fans) or meeting again an old friend and laughing at our old stories. So the best days of my life, I realized, were the simple life days when I was going with the flow and enjoying the moment.
How many of these do we have a year – twenty, fifty, one hundred? What about the rest? Have we wasted 200+ days in dysfunctional thoughts and actions? Matthew 18:3 says: “Truly I say to you, Except you be converted, and become as little children, you shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.” So I think my 7-year daughter can really teach me how to be happy and enjoy life – by appreciating what I have and enjoying the simple things. Lesson learned – when I wake up tomorrow my first words coming out of my mouth will be: “I will be grateful and positive today and miracles will happen.”