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The art of having a good day

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By Nancy Kennedy

Yesterday when I was buying fish for dinner, Harry the seafood guy looked at me and said, “Today has been a good day.”
He didn’t say why, and I suppose I should’ve asked him.

Even so, as I drove home with my two salmon steaks and the solitary fresh, humungously jumbo shrimp with its head still on that Harry tossed in as a freebie, Harry’s words echoed in my thoughts.
Today has been a good day.
Earlier, my computer at work was misbehaving. I’d been working on a series for Sunday’s paper about job stress, and right in the middle of writing one of the stories my computer froze and I lost some of the story.
I felt intense job stress at that moment and wanted to punch my computer in the nose, but since our IT person would severely frown on that, I called my mom instead.
Last year, she had a cornea transplant that didn’t work, and she had been nearly blind for months after that. She had another transplant in February, and this one seems to be working.
Mom sounded good, happy, relieved. It was good to talk to her.
Today has been a good day.
My husband recently discovered the sport of couponing. He’s retired and does our grocery shopping, and now he’s having the time of his life BOGO-ing and saving $1 off his V-8 Juice.
He goes to the gym and watches “Extreme Couponing” on TLC while on the treadmill.
In 2006, he had quadruple heart bypass surgery and less than a year later he had another surgery for an abdominal aortic aneurism. That was a terrible yet God-blessed time in our lives, bringing us close together.
It was during that time when I realized that no matter how many years we’ve been married, it hasn’t been long enough. It will be 39 years in May, and not nearly long enough.
Today, my husband went grocery shopping. He bought stir-fry vegetables, bananas and the cheesy rice cake snacks I like. He cooked chicken burgers for dinner. I don’t know what he does, but he makes the tastiest, juiciest ground chicken burgers.
It’s been a good day.
Also today I discovered I had earned enough Amazon.com reward points from my credit card to get some more Bare Minerals foundation for “free.”
Today was 80 degrees out, with very low humidity. The trees around here are as green as they can possibly be and the sky its bluest blue.
Last night I slept soundly and woke up rested. Got to work early and made a pot of decaf, sat and read the paper, got a text message from a friend saying she was thinking about me and that we should get together soon.
My sister emailed to check on me. If too many days go by and she hasn’t heard from me she’ll ask, “What’s up?” I’m the oldest, but she’s the caretaker of the family and makes sure everyone is OK. I always know I can count on her.
Also, I’m wearing really, really comfortable shoes — and my favorite heather gray sweater.
Today has been a good day.
As I was out on the road today, I stopped at a bakery and bought a roll. When I got back in my car, I broke the roll in half and thought about Jesus, about how he broke bread the night before he died, gave it to his disciples and said, “Take, eat. This is my body, broken for you.”
Later, I read in a little devotional book about hope: “Hope acts on the conviction that God will complete the work he has begun even when the appearances, especially when the appearances, oppose it.”
The book quoted the prophet Jeremiah, who quoted God, saying, “I have it all planned out — plans to take care of you, not abandon you, plans to give you the future you hope for” (Jeremiah 29:11, The Message).
Sometimes — a lot of the time — I pay too much attention to “opposing appearances” and forget that real hope isn’t hope unless everything looks hopeless, that those are the times when God steps in and blows your mind.
Today I thought about hope, ate a chicken burger, broke bread with Jesus, ordered some make up, felt loved by family and friends and didn’t punch out my computer.
Today has been a good day.
Nancy Kennedy is the author of “Move Over, Victoria - I Know the Real Secret,” “Girl on a Swing,” and her latest book, “Lipstick Grace.” She can be reached at 352-564-2927, Monday through Thursday, or via email at nkennedy@chronicleonline.com.