Monday, August 31, 2015

Ingredients for a Tenday

Recently, I've been noticing myself thinking: "Today is a tenday."

"What is a tenday?," you ask.

Well, for starters, I should clarify that the term is my own device. I never intended to create the word; I just started using it.

Now, imagine a scale that ranges from 1 to 10. At the far left of the scale is the 1, which represents "not-so-hot." At the far right of the scale is the 10, which represents "flippin' fantastic." Given that scale, a "tenday" is used to describe a day that is a 10.

"Today is a tenday."
Coming across the words of Mary Oliver, chalked on the front steps of a home.

For the record, I experience sevendays. And fivedays. And occasionally, though rare, onedays as well. After all, it's very much part of the human experience to have ups and downs in life.

I've noticed, however, that I've had a heckuva lot of tendays as of late. Thinking back, the frequency of tendays has been increasing the deeper I delve into my early retirement years.

"Today is a tenday."
Picnicing under perfect blue skies.

I've been making a conscious effort to identify the components of my days that make them tendays. I call these components "ingredients for a tenday."

For me, common ingredients for a tenday include:

  • Sunshine & Blue Skies: I love warm'n'sunny weather, especially since there is a positive correlation between the weather and my mood.

  • Nature: I love being immersed in nature, as it garners a deep appreciation for being alive.

  • Physical Movement: I love moving my body. Bodies were designed to move, and they are happiest when they do so. I particularly love walking, as I have a tendency for ah-ha moments when my feet are moving.

  • Unregimented Days: I love unstructured days. Ironically, these are the days when I can monotask and be most productive.

  • Meditation & Introspection: I love calming the monkey in my mind and reflecting on my life. For me, quietude and self-analysis are essential for helping me to stay grounded.

  • Community: I love fostering deep relationships with people who share similar interests. Mutual support is tremendous.

  • Learning & Exploring: I love expanding my experiences and knowledge. Doing so helps me grow to be a better person.

  • Writing: I love putting my thoughts on paper. Writing is one of my strongest voices for sharing my ideas and stories.

  • Sleeping: I love crawling into bed at night, with every ounce of my being completely exhausted. This means that I've lived a good, fulfilling day.

"Today is a tenday."
Enjoying a moment of introspection.

By identifying the ingredients for a tenday, I'm indirectly expressing gratitude. For my freedom. For my health. For my friends. For this beautiful world we live in.

"Today is a tenday."
Walking alongside a secluded lake.

But, more importantly, identifying the ingredients for a tenday enables me to more deliberately create tendays. If, for whatever reason, my day is shaping up to be anything less than a tenday, I can often boost the day's rating by incorporating more tenday ingredients into my day. It's the ultimate self-fulfilling prophecy.

"Today is a tenday."
Marveling over the springtime cherry blossoms.

Although a generous and intentional sprinkling of tenday ingredients into my day is optimal, I'm often surprised by how a seemingly small pinch of a tenday ingredient -- whether seeing a crocus or discovering a new favorite song -- can make a huge impact on my day.

Some tried-and-true pinches of tenday ingredients for me include:
  • Catching sight of an old man who is wearing suspenders and a hat
  • Being approaching by a neighborhood kitty that is begging for an ear scratch
  • Perusing the books in a little free library
  • Smelling the fragrance of a lilac or rosemary bush
  • Hearing the chirp of a hummingbird in the treetops 
  • Sinking my teeth into a juicy grape tomato
  • Having a deep belly laugh
  • Spotting a shooting star in the nighttime sky
  • Seeing the moon grace the midday sky
  • Sleeping in a tent
  • Finding a shape in the clouds
  • Enjoying the views from the top of a mountain
  • Witnessing a humbling sunrise or sunset
  • Wearing my cozy slippers
  • Listening to an entertaining or educational podcast
  • Feeling the warmth of a fire on a cold and damp day

"Today is a tenday."
Perusing the book selections in the Little Free Libraries.

What I've found most profound about identifying my ingredients for a tenday, though, is that my ingredients are synonymous with the simple joys of life. They are economical. They are abundant. And they are readily available for whenever I make the effort to seek them out.

What ingredients are in your tendays?


  1. Love this, and even though I don’t have near as many 10-days as I like, (I pull 6s and 7s a lot) you did get me thinking about the stuff that makes for a great day, or least puts a smile on my face:
    • Starting a hike on a frosty Autumn day, cold crisp air and crunchy frozen ground underneath
    • Any time, any place I spot a whale
    • Sleeping close enough to the ocean to hear the waves
    • Playing with the exhibits in science centers that were designed for kids
    • Seeing a bald eagle ESPECIALLY if I get to see if grab a fish!
    • Snow on a day I don’t have to drive to work
    • Waking up in a freezing cold room, big warm covers on top of me and NO need to get up
    • Making it to the top of a giant assed hill on the bike, and finding the downhill to be everything you hoped for
    • Hot bath in a giant tub with your favorite person
    • The smell of an Italian restaurant.
    • A killer tailwind on a the way BACK from a ride
    • A long forgotten favorite song coming on the radio
    • Huge hugs
    • Pizza after 100 miles
    • Giant used book store with nooks and crannies and comfy chairs
    • A Sarah blog post!
    There are more, but this is what comes to mind this morning! Thanks for making me think of them!

    1. How fun to learn about your tenday ingredients, Tony! Reading through them brought a warm, fuzzy feeling to my heart and a big smile to my face. Thank you for sharing. :)

    2. Happy to! Seemed only fair since you shared yours :)

  2. Here's to more tendays Saracita :)


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