A Golden Day

Today is a Golden Day.  A day where formal work commitments are low, where the kids are being watched, where I can go out on my own.  To read, to write, to think.  To reflect on what is most important.  A Golden Day to work on whatever I want.

I woke up this morning and worked on a few tasks from 6-8am.  I turned in an expert report.  I responded to an important email.  I played with my son for a few minutes with his trains (my other two kiddos were still fast asleep, not morning people like my second son and I are).  From 8-9am, I made breakfast for the kids and got everyone ready for the day.

Our nanny (bless her heart) showed up at 9am.  She’s taking the kids to a movie this morning while they’re on spring break.  And I’m free.  I’m out the door for my work day.  Fortunately, I had a few heavy work weeks earlier this month at trial and deposition.  So today, I just have myself and a few key items to think about.

First activity is a walk with headphones, listening to Ezra Klein and Cal Newport talk about Deep Work.  I walk about 1.5 miles to downtown Newton Center, break a slight sweat, think about my day.  Then I set up at a coffee shop for my own Deep Work.  I block out distractions.  I write this post.  I get ready for my next task working on the goals and values of the new firm.  Then lunch at my favorite Chinese restaurant.  A bit more reading, writing, exploring, then home at 4:30pm to coach my son’s soccer team.  Not terribly “productive”, but immensely valuable.

I get it: I’m incredibly lucky.  I say thanks for my good fortune and position in life every day.  At the same time, it’s the life I’ve been working hard to set up for 10+ years now.  I’ve been in the trenches working my tail off to try to design this life and career.  And now, I get a Golden Day.  Have I “earned it”?  Hard to say.  After all, it’s just a day, but a perfect day.  All to myself.  To work on whatever I find to be most engaging and interesting.

Days like this are important.  They are refreshing, creative, different.  I change my brain state, and I see patterns in new ways due to the altered environment.  My brain has insights on projects that I’ve been working on for weeks.  My subconscious works while I sip on coffee.  But I can’t be too distracted.  It’s too easy to waste the day with emails, social media, and other shallow tasks.  So I focus, as best I can.

It’s a good day.  The kind of day I live for.  To engage deeply with my own mind, before returning back to my family, my work commitments, my responsibilities.  It’s just one day, but it’s perfect.

— Thriving Dad

One thought on “A Golden Day”

  1. This was a joy to read. At heart, it’s a lovely expression of gratitude.

    I keep coming back to the following thought (and wonder why we don’t do more of it):

    >>”Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.” <<

    — Philippians 4:8 (King James Version)

    The Christian tradition should claim credit, of course, but there's a strong overlap in time and sentiment with the Stoics.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *