Often, when my husband calls on his way home from work, he asks me, “Did you have a good day?” And almost every evening, in the midst of stirring pots, transferring laundry from washer to dryer, or hovering over school-issued laptops to help with homework, I think, “No! How could I have had a good day?” And I hang up a little more irritated than I was before.

This had been going on for years until I finally noticed my reaction, my beliefs, and then the thoughts that followed, all culminating in a diminished mood and state of mind.

Until one day, after another evening of the same question and reaction, after the pea risotto had been put away, the laundry folded, and the dishwasher started, I settled onto the couch in a disgruntled pile of cheerless solemnity.

And then I woke up. Again. Sort of.

It wasn’t a huge epiphany or drama. Just a quiet voice that bubbled up and said, Why? Why couldn’t you have a good day? What stops you from shooting to have the best day possible every day?

I’d asked this question of myself before. I’d done the reading. I’m a self-proclaimed self-help/spirituality genre super fan. But you can get all the information you want, read all the books, listen to the podcasts, meditate, journal, and swim in the sea of manifesting, self-forgiveness, permission, and challenging your beliefs, and still not lift a finger.

Maybe I’d finally reached a point of saturation. Like when you’re adding rinse aid to the dishwasher–you dump in a few glugs and the little reservoir looks full. And then it empties. So you add more, watching to see if it’s full now. But it empties again. After two or three more times of filling and emptying, finally, the tiny cup stays full. So you close the lid and start the dishwasher. 

Whatever the reason, something shifted and I realized that the only answer to the question of “What stops me from shooting to have the best day possible every day?” no matter what my life circumstance is me. I stop me. And that’s a choice.

Every single day is a choice. Why am I still trudging around in a fog, numbing myself with wine, snacking or scrolling, snapping at people who ask me questions like, What are you working on these days? Did you have a good day? Like it’s someone else’s responsibility to make me happy, to set up circumstances that will benefit me, to say only things from my approved list of acceptable questions or topics so they don’t touch my sensitive social shell.

It’s not anyone else’s choice how you live your day. What do you really want to do? What are you drawn to? What would bring you five minutes of joy? Do that today.