A Good Day

Chamomile flower

The humble chamomile: beauty and utility in simplicity.

On the phone with my dear friend Aliza“I want to write a new post but I don’t have a topic.”
“A good day.”
“Write about a good day.”

Hmm… It never occurred to me, but what a great idea! So here it is: what a good day looks like for me.

My good day starts with a natural awakening after five or six hours of uninterrupted sleep without a sleeping pill. Insomnia is an issue for so many of us, and I am no exception. Waking up after a natural sleep and without the alarm is a luxury and a wonderful start to the day.

I do my usual morning inventory of body parts before getting out of bed. Wiggle this, stretch that. What hurts and how badly does it hurt? On a good day everything works, stretches do not end up in sharply painful muscle cramps, and I don’t even have a headache.  It’s a good day: no extra pain meds first thing in the morning. I stretch, sit on the side of the bed and I’m not dizzy or woozy. Oh, right! I didn’t take a sleeper last night. Yay!

I go straight into the kitchen to put on water for coffee (the elixir of life) and then upstairs to the bathroom for morning stuff. Yes, my bed is downstairs and the bathroom is upstairs. Not ideal for someone with chronic pain and serious illness, but this is a good day and it doesn’t faze me at all. I go up and down the stairs on alternating steps instead of one step at a time like a toddler or a very old person.

After I make the coffee and since I’m feeling pretty good, I decide to make an omelet for breakfast. My fingers function pretty well on a good day, so I chop up some onions and tomatoes, slice some potatoes and have a cheese and salsa omelet with home fries. (You can take the girl out of America, but…) Then I go upstairs to my little oratory (since it’s a good day, I can pray up there instead of in bed) for Morning Prayer and meditation.

Back downstairs, I have a piece of fruit and maybe a second cup of coffee while I open Facebook and Twitter and see how everyone is today. Read the newspapers and medical news sites online.  Get a little outraged at something and a little delighted at something else. Watch some cat videos.

If it’s nice out, and it is for most of the year in Jerusalem, I might go sit outside for a bit. Maybe I’ll read or listen to an audio book, or maybe I’ll do the New York Times crossword puzzle.

Other things I like to do on a good day? Read, write, and research blog posts. Watch TV shows and movies on line. Cook something: in winter it will be a nice soup, in warmer weather maybe chili or a stew or curry and salad.  Prayer and meditation are a big part of my life. When I’m feeling pretty good, I might say the Midday Prayer outside while looking at the flowers and trees and listening to the birds if it’s nice out. Otherwise, I’ll go upstairs to the little oratory. I enjoy not having to stay in bed to pray.

After lunch (probably a sandwich on homemade whole wheat bread), I take a nap. Even on good days I have to conserve my energy. I’ll put an audio book on the timer and listen until I fall asleep or decide to get up. Usually the former. After I wake up, I stay in bed a bit more, just enjoying being horizontal with all my muscles relaxed.

The afternoon will look much like the morning, but I’ll also spend some time on Dorphina. Since we’re talking about a good day, it will be forty-five minutes or an hour. Afterwards, I ride the endorphin high (because endorphins are our friends!) and just enjoy feeling good. In the evening I pray Vespers in the oratory and meditate again. Maybe I’ll celebrate the good day by having an individual pizza from Dominos some other delivery meal for dinner. I watch TV online in the evening.

I don’t work anymore because the disease has made me too unreliable. They can’t count on me and I can’t count on my mind. This means that my days are concentrated around the little things that I can do at home. Praying and meditating is a big part of the day, even though I can’t spend as many hours a day at it as I used to.  Reading, writing, being in touch with people through my Facebook support group and other friends. Sharing my space with others when my helpers come (three or four times a week); otherwise enjoying my solitude. Listening to books. Doing hard crossword puzzles and playing Lexulous. Looking at the garden.

A good day for me is simplicity, beautiful simplicity, a breathing space when I can enjoy living in my body, in my small stone house, in the world that I love.

Image credit: Olga Khomyakova

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35 Responses

  1. Agnès says:

    What a nice way to spend your great days!

    I think it’s a good thing that you don’t work any longer. I reckon it brought tremendous feeling of guilt and responsibility. Now it’s over and you may enjoy your free time! 🙂

  2. Dorry says:

    “A good day for me is simplicity, beautiful simplicity, a breathing space when I can enjoy living in my body, in my small stone house, in the world that I love.”

    I love you, Knot. So very much. Thank you. xoxoxoxox

  3. Julie Frayn says:

    Amazing how a good day can be so different depending on your circumstances. Your good day sounds peaceful and lovely. I wish you nothing but good days. Or at the very least, no bad ones. <3

  4. Sharon says:

    A lovely, joy filled day. I appreciate the mindfulness, the stillness and how you are comfortable with silence. Blessings. Sharon

    • Knot Telling says:

      Thank you, Sharon.

      I am far more comfortable with solitude and silence than with crowds and noise!

  5. JSM says:

    So good to hear about this kind of day. May they be frequent. And – let’s hear it for Lexulous!!

  6. Tears are sneaking out of my eyes reading about your good day, thank you dear friend. I feel a kind of peace knowing you enjoy days like the one you describe. Much appreciation for everything you live with and deep understanding for your written disclosures and also those you keep to yourself. I love you.

  7. Hi Knot,
    Loved reading about what a good day means to you and wishing you a whole bunch of very good days. Wait, would a very good day be even slightly better yet? ha. Thank you for sharing.

  8. Kathi says:

    Knot, what a lovely, lovely post. Your good day sounds like perfection. Knowing that you have bad days, I can only wish, like your other friends, that you have many more good days, mostly good days, or even all good days. Or at the very least, bad days that improve into better days. Much love, peace, comfort & restfulness to you, dear one. xoxo, Kathi

  9. Susanne says:

    Good days are wonderful things. May the number of yours outweigh the bad.

  10. oh, Knot, what a beautiful description of a very good day. It makes me feel so happy for you to be able the savor all the pleasures of those times when you wake up, take attendance, and slip into the comforts of a day without pain. the ordinary delights of being able to do what you wish, the gifts of Grace – I wish you many more good days and the contentedness they bring you. much love to you, Dear One, karen

  11. Beth Gainer says:

    Knot, I loved reading all about your good day doing things that many of us take for granted. By the way, I agree that coffee is the elixir of life. Prayer and meditation sound like wonderful accompaniments to a good day. Here’s wishing you many, many good days ahead.

  12. Nora says:

    Your good days sound golden and filled with light, warmth. I wish you many more and even on bad days I hope at least parts of a good day spill in. I am very thankful you share parts of your world with us. Peace and love, Nora.

    • Knot Telling says:

      Nora, I’m incorrigible. As soon as you said “golden”, all I could think about was Lady Antebellum.
      Thank you for your kind wishes, my friend.

  13. Sounds wonderful. Here’s to many more “good days” to come, for you. xo

  14. Tim Peacock says:

    “Get a little outraged at something and a little delighted at something else. Watch some cat videos.” Yep, sounds familiar! Sounds like a lovely, gentle, day.

  15. Jenna says:

    I wish you everyday has good moments, for you & everyone. I always try to find the positive even a bad day, I know there is always something good. The serenity prayer is my day starter, sunshine & and appositive attitude & smile always seem to help me.. Wishing you more good days,always

  16. Saoul says:

    Whenever I read your posts, I feel humbled and inspired. That’s one of your many gifts, Knot!

  17. Knot Telling says:

    How sweet of you, Saoul! I didn’t even know you read the blog. 🙂

  18. Elizabeth J. says:

    Knot, your good day sounds so tranquil. I find I spend a lot more time in prayer and devotional readings than before cancer, too. It definitely helps.
    I no longer work, either, but one of the highlights of my week is the afternoon I volunteer as a music teacher, even though I usually need a nap afterwards.
    May God bless you with many more good days.
    You are a blessing to many of us.

    • Knot Telling says:

      Volunteering as a music teacher sounds wonderful, and worth a nap!

      Yes, my good days are very tranquil and serene, happy in a quiet way. They are little gems.

  19. Maxine D says:

    I am late here, but have been thinking about this post for many days – and savouring the sweet simplicity of your ‘good day’, and to a point, wishing I could escape the busy-ness of my current day to day living for a few days of tranquil solitude, prayer and just being, oh, and coffee, very good coffee!
    May you be blessed with good days creeping into some of the not-so-good days and alleviating them.
    Prayers and blessings

  1. 24 January, 2015

    […] love that both Knot and Catherine  chose to write about a normal good day on their blogs this […]

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