Looking for Ease


Waiting in line at the bank’s drive-in window, rain pouring across the windshield, I scrolled through the to-do list on my phone. I let out a sigh, knowing this was going to be a week of “Living the List”—going from one thing to the next with little space for letting down. It’s that time, after all, when end-of-year business and financial obligations run head-on into holiday preparations. When the bank transaction was finished, the teller sweetly called through the glass, “Enjoy the rest of your day!” I gave her a lopsided smile. Not likely, I thought, but as I drove away to my next commitment, I starting thinking about her phrase. What would it take for me to enjoy my day? I was reminded of the comedian George Carlin’s irreverent monologue, “Have a nice day!” In it he declares that the trouble with someone saying, “Have a nice day!” is that it puts all the pressure on you to figure it out. I am the one responsible for finding ways to make my day enjoyable, after all. So why does that make me so grumpy? Strange that we humans have such resistance to making our days—and our lives—easier and more enjoyable. I came home and put away the groceries, then decided to do something that would make me happy before moving on to the next task. My eye caught the bouquet of late garden roses a friend had brought me. I carried it into my studio and photographed it, taking a few minutes to delight in the color and abundance of the blooms (smelling the roses!). It was a little thing, but it shifted my attention, and suddenly my outlook on the day was brighter. I could breathe again. Ease is there, always, but we have to look for it. Try it, and really give yourself a nice day!