Recovering The SelfA Journal of Hope and Healing

Fulfilling Your Dreams

Rules For Life – Some Days

by Ken La Salle

Welcome back to my continuing series of Rules For Life.The-Worth-of-Dreams-The-Value-of-Dreamers

As writing has become my full-time career, I’ve utilized systems to help me do my job more efficiently and in a more disciplined manner. One of those systems is a calendar that regularly reminds me what projects are due and what deadlines are approaching.

And so it was that I found a reminder this morning that my next Rules For Life article needed to be written for February. I had already outlined a topic and I knew, generally, what I was going to write… except, there was one, tiny, little problem.

How can I put this…? In a nutshell: My day just basically sucked.

I was sick and, after days of insomnia and general achiness, I was just exhausted. And now, on top of that, here was a reminder that I needed to put on my “motivated and upbeat cap” and write some insightful, new piece about a Rule For Life.

I decided to do the smart thing, which was to put the topic I had outlined earlier aside. Instead, I resigned myself to relaying what I think we can agree is a truth both universal and applicable: Some days are just going to suck.

No kidding, my friends, you’re just going to have those days. Plans will fall apart. Things won’t work, be they machines, ideas, or even systems. People will disappoint you. You will disappoint yourself. Things will be generally wretched.

That’s just how things are going to work out sometimes.

And why is that?

Keep in mind that all aesthetic judgments – in this case whether a day is good or bad – arise from a single source: your expectations. When you expect something to go your way, you are naturally going to be disappointed when it doesn’t. If you expect something to fail, you’ll probably be less disappointed and more resigned when it does.

Thus far, this all adds up to a pretty terrible rule: Some days are going to suck and your expectations don’t necessarily help. An old friend used to tell me to always keep my expectations low and then I’d never be disappointed. But what a horrible way to go through life that would be, always expecting the worst. No one should ever make that a rule for life and I certainly don’t plan to here.

Expectations are a part of life, after all. We naturally want things to go our way. We like when things work out. If we lived every day expecting the worst, we would have nothing to look forward to and our spirits would inevitably sink in despair.

As it turns out, living with these expectations and disappointments all come down to how we look at them.

Some days are going to suck. But if we keep that in mind and acknowledge this as simply a part of life, we face no need for low expectations. We can still desire good things out of life as long as we acknowledge that life isn’t always going to work entirely in our favor. Sure, we’re going to lose but that doesn’t mean we’re never going to win. There are going to be bad days but there will be good days as well.

Putting this down on paper, I’m happy to report, has actually helped me out a little with my rotten day. Now, I can go back to bed, put my head down on my pillow, and understand that this crummy day is just one day. Things can still get better tomorrow. I can still hope for the best and not have my expectations shattered just because of one bad day.

The next time you face a crummy day or find that reality did not exactly meet your expectations, keep in mind that the world works like that – sometimes. It’s the crummy days that remind us just how good the great ones really are.

About the Author

Author and Playwright, Ken La Salle grew up in Santa Ana, California and has remained in the surrounding area his entire life. He was raised with strong, blue-collar roots, which have given him a progressive and environmentalist view. As a result, you’ll find many of his stories touching those areas both geographically and philosophically. His plays have been seen in theaters across the country and you can find a growing number of books available online. Find out more about Ken on his website at Ken La Salle is represented by Loiacono Literary Agency, LLC.

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