“If your heart is beating, if your lungs are breathing, if you are still alive… then it is not too late to do something kind, creative, generous, satisfying, and courageous. Today.” ~Alexandra Franzen
It was one of those days.
You know the ones—when nothing really bad happens, but everything just seems to go wrong. When lots of little annoying things happen and the day seems to spiral from there.
This was one of those days.
I had woken up with a headache and decided to hit the snooze button on my alarm (twice) so I didn’t have to face the day yet, which meant I had to rush to get ready and make it to my first university class of the day.
I ended up getting to class late (and I’m one of those people who hate being late), and as the day went on, things got worse.
In another class, I found out that we had a test that I had completely forgotten about and hadn’t prepared for.
Then later on, I was meant to be meeting up with a group of people to work on a group assignment, and no one came.
So by the afternoon I was pretty over it.
“Could this day get any worse?” I dramatically thought.
And then it did.
When I was walking home I got caught in a rainstorm and discovered that there must have been a hole somewhere in my shoes. I seriously felt like I was in a movie where someone was having a comically bad day.
As I stepped in the door I decided that the day was ruined and there was no point in trying to do anything now, but I stopped myself in my tracks with one of my favorite mantras by Alexandra Franzen:
“Today is not over yet.”
This mantra shifted my thinking immediately and I realized there was still time to make the day count.
After all, it was only late afternoon.
So, I had a shower and put on dry clothes. I waited for my boyfriend to get home and we headed into town, where we bought mint raw chocolate and kombucha. We walked around the town and through one of my favorite parks.
We ended up getting burgers for dinner, having a really meaningful conversation, and then going to see a movie.
When I arrived home that night I realized how profound those five words had been and how they had helped me completely turn my day (and attitude) around.
Earlier in the day I could have chosen to give up on the day, but instead, I made a choice to find a way to make the rest of the day count—to do something that was meaningful for me—all because I reminded myself that the day wasn’t over yet.
My day went from being the worst day of the week to one of my favorite days of the week, even though it definitely wasn’t all good.
This wasn’t just a one-off experience; I’ve used this mantra so many times, with amazing results.
There was the time where I felt like I had wasted an entire Sunday and this mantra inspired me to head outside and go for a walk, where I ended up witnessing one of the most spectacular sunsets I’ve ever seen.
There was the time where I was having trouble getting some writing done, and this mantra convinced me not to retreat to the couch and binge-watch my latest Netflix obsession. As a result, I ended up getting more work done than I wanted to.
There was the time where I felt like everything that could go wrong was going wrong and I had been in an unhappy mood for days that I just couldn’t shake. This mantra inspired me to spend one hour writing down every single thing that I could think of that I was grateful for, which turned around my day (and mood) completely.
And this is just the beginning. Time and time again I’ve used these five words to turn my day around.
I love using “today is not over yet” as my mantra to turn a not-so-awesome day around because:
1. It is a powerful reminder to find a way to make the day count.
This mantra reminds me that there is still time to make something good happen, no matter what has happened so far in the day. It reminds me that I don’t need to wait for a new day, a new week (or month or year) to decide to make it count.
2. It reminds me that I have a choice.
And when I’m not having a good day I can choose what happens from that moment. I can choose to throw the day away, or I can make a different choice and try to find a way to make the day count.
3. It reminds me to do something (or many things) each day that are meaningful to me.
It can be easy to fall into the habit of living each day on autopilot, but this mantra makes me re-evaluate how I’ve been spending my “life-minutes” and reminds me to be intentional about making this day—and each day—count for me.
4. It reminds me to be grateful for each day, no matter what.
As Alice Morse Earle said “Every day may not be good…but there's something good in every day.” And this mantra helps me to be intentional at finding and creating the good in each day.
So no matter what has happened so far in your day, if you want to make the rest of your day count, you can!
To make this day count you might like to:
- Do something kind for yourself. This might look like doing something you love that you don’t usually make time for, giving yourself a five-minute break to breathe and have a cup of tea, or asking yourself “What do I really need right now?” then doing it.
- Do something thoughtful and generous for someone else. This might look like helping someone out with something, or telling someone that you’re grateful for them and why, or writing someone a note and sending it to them in the mail.
- Do something productive. This might look like doing that thing you’ve been meaning to do for ages but haven’t gotten around to getting it done, making appointments that you’ve been putting off, or cleaning an area in your home.
- Do something you wouldn’t normally do. This might look like going to the movies in the middle of the week, or baking a cake even though it’s no one’s birthday, or going for a walk on a trail you’ve never been to.
- Do something—anything—that is meaningful for you. Something that makes you feel like you’ve made the rest of the day count.
So whatever time you’re reading this, whatever has happened today, know that there is always time to make the day count.
The day doesn’t have to be over yet.
It’s up to you what happens now.