As I was trying to figure out how to use the fancy printer/copier at Staples, the employee who was helping me couldn't help my notice my brightly-colored logo and flyer.
"What do you do anyway?"
I told her I'm speaker who talks about the connection between positivity, productivity and profitability.
"Wow, I could use some of those after the 7 months I've had."
What struck me about the conversation is not that she could use some positivity, productivity or profitability (couldn't we all?) but that it was so easy for her to describe how long things had been out of order in her life. 7 months. That number was on the tip of her tongue.
A lot of us do this, don't we? We catalog what goes wrong. We've all heard variations on these:
"The guy in front of me drove 28 miles per hour and I followed him for 6 1/2 miles."
"He didn't text me back for 4 days."
"My performance review is overdue by 6 weeks and 2 days."
"I'm still waiting for the bonus I was promised. That was 2 years and 4 months ago."
And perhaps we've said a few of these too, tracking the injustices and disappointments of the world. But are we tracking the good things that are happening? There are opportunities all over the place to celebrate anniversaries and milestones. The anniversary of when you first met your best friend. The amount of money you've raised for a charity. The number of pounds you've lost. How long you've been working out.
This comes a little more naturally to those of us who are good with dates, but there are plenty of opportunities for those who aren't:
Facebook reminds us of what we posted on this same date in previous years. Those "On this Day" items are often nice little reminders of happy milestones.
Look through old journals or planners. Whether you keep them digitally or on paper, they are a good place to see when was the first time you went out to eat with that person who ended up becoming a good friend. Or the first meeting you attended of your new favorite group.
Plan something special on a special date that you know will be memorable (we just passed 1/8/18 and 1/18/18 - did something cool happen for you on one of those days?)
Calculate! I once calculated how long my middle school friend and I had known each other. I knew we met on the first day of 6th grade; back then, we started school the day after Labor Day, so a quick Google search told me that would be 9/8/87. An easy formula subtracting that date from the present date told me the exact number of days since we met. If we were still friends today, it would be 11,097 days. Fun, right?
I couldn't remember quite when I started working out at the fitness center, but I knew I was coming up on the anniversary, so I just asked the owner to check when my contract started. And then I shared "happy anniversary" wishes with my fellow workout buddies that day. It just added a little fun to the day and also made me feel proud thinking I had been at it for a year.
Apps might tell us how long we've been members, what level we've completed, or how many times we've meditated or done a particular workout. This can provide a fun little boost.
I have a spreadsheet on which I track all of my blog posts. This post is #100! (I guess you can figure out where I found the motivation for today's post.)
Commemorating milestones helps us better mark the passing of time. We live on autopilot sometimes, and taking time to note a particular date or celebrate an accomplishment helps us enjoy life more.
Photo by Stephanie McCabe on Unsplash