Good Times, Bad Times

“I’ve always felt that life is a novel, and part of it is written for you, and part of it is written by you. It’s up to you to write the ending, ultimately. I’ve had some tremendous adventures, good and bad. It’s part of the novel, and a novel isn’t interesting if it doesn’t have some good and bad. And you don’t know what good is if bad hasn’t been a part of your life.”                                       ― Lynn Johnston, cartoonist, For Better or For Worse©Copyright Bill Nicholls and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons License.©
Copyright Bill Nicholls and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons License.

I had a bad day recently for no particular reason. The previous days had been fine. I had been encouraged at a writers’ critique group. My son had just received a job offer. I’d had fun at a party. But I woke up that day with chills and aching. I checked my temperature—no fever. I was slightly congested, but not enough to make me feel bad. The outside temperature was very cold—maybe as I get older, cold just gets to me? It was a bad day, and I was frustrated. I accomplished little and couldn’t figure out what was wrong. I thought, “This is not so swift for a woman making strides, is it?”

I prepared a dinner that I later realized was food my Mom would have made—her chop suey recipe, rice, her Hawaiian fruit salad, and Pillsbury-type biscuits. Maybe melancholy was part of the reason for my moodiness (many of you know my Mom passed away last March.) After dinner I went to a church meeting early knowing that good friends would be there. I needed support on my bad day, and I told them I was cranky. Everyone accepted me as I was, and by the end of the meeting, I felt a little better.

Back home, I journaled about my day and realized it was okay. We have somehow gotten the idea that we are supposed to be positive all the time, and that if we have a bad day, it is because we attracted that by our thoughts. I feel strongly that being positive is good and being grateful is far better than complaining. Why would God want to hear us complain often? Why would He give us more if we don’t appreciate what we have? But we don’t have to be on top of our game all the time. We don’t always feel 100% fine. We don’t have to be 100% positive every minute.

If we have bad days like this frequently, we’d be smart to get professional help. But we do ourselves a disservice if we think we are supposed to be positive all the time. That is not being honest with ourselves. We do have bad feelings and bad days.

No one wants to listen to us complain unduly, but we can tell a good friend about our troubles now and then. And why not vent feelings by writing in a journal? Whatever you do to express your feelings, limit the time you complain. Reflect on your friend’s response and on what you wrote or said. See if you can do something about your troubles.

That night I asked myself, “What do I need right now?” I decided I was dehydrated so I drank a tall glass of water. I was tired, so I took a hot bath and went to bed early and read for a short time. I went to sleep early, knowing I would wake up on the “other side of the bed” in the morning. It was okay.

I slept for ten hours that night—which is rare for me, so I was either just plain tired or I was fighting an illness. The next day I drank more water so I wouldn’t be dehydrated again.

Ecclesiastes 3:1, 4 says “There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens: . . . a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance.”

So let’s accept a bad day when it happens. Let’s consider what we can do to make it better. And then let’s rest well knowing that tomorrow is another day.

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Are you having good times or bad times right now? How do you feel about that? Please share your thoughts in the comments below.

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About Susan Ekins

Freelance writer and blogger at Women Making Strides. Interested in personal leadership and empowerment. Wanting inspiration and to inspire. Leader in church ministries. Blog: Facebook page:
This entry was posted in Bad days, Encouragement, God, journaling, positive-thinking, self-care, Self-compassion and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

19 Responses to Good Times, Bad Times

  1. aspirecoach says:

    we can learn from those bad days… and we can take care of ourselves on those days. Not so bad after all!


  2. All us have such days Susan!

    Yes indeed, life is all about such good and bad times, though we need to learn to make the best of what we have in hand – isn’t it? That’s what life is all about – a perfect blend of the good and bad times. 🙂

    Some days are really bad for me too when everything seems to be going haywire and nothing seems to be in control, and at times everything seems to take place together. It does pull us down, though with time they do get alright too. Just like they say – there’s always hope and a silver lining – isn’t it?

    Thanks for sharing, and nice being over at your blog too. Keep in touch. 🙂


  3. Hi Susan,
    I have been sick for the better part of this week. It’s annoying that I’m losing so much “work” time and to feel so miserable. But you’re right, I need to learn to accept a bad day (or days) and not rail against them. Bundling up again tonight and hoping to feel better tomorrow!


  4. EVERYONE has a bad day now and then. Thanks for giving us all permission to be ourselves without guilt.


  5. justabackpackandarollie says:

    What a lovely post. I agree that you can’t appreciate the light if you don’t have the shadow too. Sometimes the best we can do is a little comfort food, a warm bath, soft jammies and a good night’s sleep.


  6. It’a about going beyond the negative and listening to whispers of comfort and encouragement instead. Our posts on the subject of negativity complement each other nicely, Susan. I’m going to go drink a tall glass of water right now. Thanks! 🙂


  7. Pam says:

    I get what you’re saying but I’ve decided to fight the bad days by insisting that each day is going to be a good day. It’s worked every day- so far. There are people around me who do, it seems, everything in their power to try and bring me down with them so I had to do something. That something was deciding that they were NOT going to be successful and that every day was going to be a good day. That led me to looking for the good in every day and to being aware of trying to see the good in the people who cross my path. It’s been a tough road but a wonderful learning experience. Not that I won’t have ‘bad’ days but I really appreciate being more aware. I won’t go into all the things I’ve learned about myself during this, but it’s quite a lot. I really admire your positivity about those bad days!


  8. Kathy Smith says:

    I love all your posts, Sue, but this one really struck me where I live. I’ve been under extreme pressure at work, and my husband lost his job of 24 years recently (Wonder/Hostess), and it’s been way too easy to focus on the negative. My New Year’s resolution was to be more positive. Getting bogged down in the negative only makes me more negative. The positives? The kids and I have been truly blessed by getting to see Don more, and it’s a blessing in disguise. Thanks for your blog. I really enjoy it.


    • Susan says:

      Kathy, Take extra care of yourself while you are going through these tough times. You’re right, there usually is a silver lining in our clouds if we look for them. I’m praying for Don to get a job soon and I hope your job situation improves.


  9. catnipoflife says:

    Susan, this is such a great post. C’est le vie! Good days and bad days! If we did not have some of the bad along with the good, we would cease to appreciate all the good there is. This reminds me of a recent article I wrote titled Butterflies or Dragons? Inspiration for writing comes from both…the fleeting moments of happiness like the fluttering butterfly and the feelings of the beasts in life like the dragons. We just have to hold on to those butterfly dragons that offer a balance between them both.


    • Susan says:

      Sharla, It’s always great to hear from you. I love your post “Butterflies or Dragons?” Here is the link if my readers want to see it: Sharla says, “There is . . . always a choice: make the best of a night or make the best of a morning after a bad night.” And she gives ideas for how to do that. My readers can find Sharla’s blog by clicking on the “catnipoflife” link just before her comment above.


    • Diane Overgard says:

      Sharla, your image of butterflies or dragons is creative and helpful. I agree that some of my best inspiration for writing and creating coaching programs came from “dragon experiences.” We need those dragons even if they’re not so friendly!
      I wrote a bog a few months ago called “Happy About Nothing” which was the result of a few dragons:


      • Susan says:

        Diane, I enjoyed your blog post “Happy About Nothing.” We take the good times for granted sometimes, don’t we? Thanks for the reminder to appreciate the good in our lives.


      • catnipoflife says:

        Diane, thank you for the comments. I visited your post, really enjoyed it and left a link to another you might enjoy. Susan, if you missed it, go to catnip – Laughing at Yourself.


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