Alan Nelson over at the always-interesting Seat 1A has tagged me with the meme “What constitutes a Great Day?” Alan lists several items that produce for him a Great Day, and includes several that I would have included myself. So, I will try to think back to specific days when I have, at some point, thought to myself “This is a great @#$%ing great day!” and determine what was the cause.
Here we go:
- Walking around and exploring a new and interesting (often foreign) city.
- Spending the day doing an outdoor activity in a beautiful natural setting (skiing in the Rockies, hiking in Yosemite, kayaking on Tomales Bay, hiking on Angel Island, boating on San Francisco Bay, stopping at some random point down Highway 1 and exploring).
- Spending several hours “in the zone” with my photography.
- Experiencing some form of live art (theatre, opera, movie, band) that has my head reeling with ephemeral excitement after it’s over.
- Spending an evening of interesting conversation with my friends.
- And a work-related Great Day: Spending the day working in hyperactivity mode, achieving an unusually high level of productivity while collaborating with my colleagues. This is particularly satisfying when the notable results are celebrated with colleagues, even if only by simply acknowledging each other’s great work. After a day like that winds down, I’m a very happy person.
- Okay, here’s a Great Day that I try to experience as often as I can. I love to take a day off of work and play tourist in my hometown of San Francisco when the weather is beautiful. I’ll start with a workout at the gym, then go to a sunny café and read the paper along with a coffee/chai and a pastry. Then I’ll pick a neighborhood that I haven’t been to in a long while and explore—maybe it’s an urban region like the Mission, or maybe it’s along the ocean or bay or in Golden Gate Park. Then I’ll pick a great restaurant for a late lunch, go to a museum or gallery that has an interesting exhibit, and end the evening watching the bustling tourists and business people leaving work around Union Square. If I’m lucky, I’ll get home just in time for an ocean sunset. For me, that's a great, great day.