You’ve seen the hashtag. It’s everywhere. #NoBadDays. Insert the sound of therapists’ groaning here.
To this hashtag’s credit, they are usually posts of people working hard or enjoying life. I am going to go out on a limb and assume that the message behind it is that no day is bad, because there’s good in everyday. That’s what I am choosing to believe, because otherwise, I am just baffled. Not that it entirely matters, because that’s still wrong. Yup, that’s right, I said it. There’s no such thing as #NoBadDays.
“What a depressing thought!”
It really isn’t though. Life is an amazing, beautiful, tragic, challenging, devastating, wonderful journey. It’s both exhilarating and traumatizing. We have our best days and our worst days. You get both. If you live long enough (like past the age of 2, probably), you’ll end up having a wide range of experiences.
I heard a story in graduate school that I’ve probably re-told 1,349 times (accurate number for sure). We had a speaker come into a class and talk about life being on a scale of -2 to 2, or -10 to 10. If you choose the 2’s, you probably won’t experience anything that earth shattering, which can be a serious comfort.
However, your euphoria can only go as high as a 2. That probably doesn’t sound nearly as good of a deal. If you choose the 10’s, you can experience some seriously crushing situations. But you also get to soar as high as a 10. You get those moments that you remember for the rest of your life and warm your heart well into old age. They’re the moments that keep you going when shit gets really hard and remind you of all the good in the world and in your life.
The catch is, you can’t be on both scales.
You have to pick – 2’s or 10’s. You can’t, as much as we’d all love to, experience the -2 and the 10. 2’s or 10’s. Not both.
I share this story not just because it’s apparently what I do, but also because it relates to that #NoBadDays hashtag. How do you really appreciate those amazing days if you’ve never had a bad one? If you’ve never experienced failure, can you really appreciate the eventual success? Do you really understand what joy is if you’ve never had the sadness?
We all have bad days. It’s okay to have them, and to embrace them. They’re part of living a full life. So the next time you feel compelled, if you do, to jump on the #NoBadDays train – ask yourself: is it really possible? Is that the life you really want?
If you’re saying no, may I recommend the alternative hashtag below instead?