Suzanne Reisler Litwin: It Doesn't Get Much Better Than This

How do you measure a good day to a great day and a great day to an excellent day? For some, a great day might be a day without pain. For others an excellent day might be spent on a gorgeous beach in paradise. Some people might say a perfect day is spent at home, alone in a quiet peaceful place. Others might say their best day is every day as long as they are healthy and well.

How's about scoring the winning goal, accomplishing a goal, cashing in those chips, selling that car, breaking a record, making the best meal ever? Could any of these produce a great day or an excellent day?

One person's excellent day might be another person's OK day. Since this measurement is almost impossible to account for, perhaps reversing the theory as, "It doesn't get much better than this", might be a simpler way to measure your happiness.

Around twenty years ago my eldest son was in a "Learn to Skate" hockey program. At Level 1, the beginner skaters learn to simply skate (without hockey sticks). The Level 1 skaters wore green jerseys. As his skating skills improved, he moved up to Level 2 and was so happy to wear the yellow jersey.

The following year, my son continued the Learn to Skate program at Level 2, but very quickly moved up to Level 3. At Level 3 the players wore a blue jersey and start to skate with hockey sticks. By mid-winter, my son reached Level 4 and was given the greatly anticipated ‘red jersey’.

Like every other night, he went to sleep in his pajamas. On the night my son received his red jersey, he slept in it. During the evening I went to check on him. I found him completely covered in sweat due to the fact he had put on his red jersey. He was so proud of his accomplishment and thrilled to finally obtain Level 4 and the red jersey.

I opened his bedroom window to cool off his room. I told my husband to come to his room and see this amazing sight. As we looked at our son sleeping in his red jersey I said to my husband, "It doesn't get much better than this". As parents, this was our incredible joyful moment. The pride we felt for our son's accomplishments and the pride he felt for himself was all encompassing. It was pure and simple joy.

I will never forget that night. That particular experience has become the barometer for my life theory of "It doesn't get much better than this". Of course, there have been other amazing experiences that we have shared, places we have gone, and things we have done. However, in the simplistic of terms, that night was unbridled youthful, priceless joy.

Have I experienced something in this world that has taken my breath away? Yes! Have I been to places which are beyond beautiful? Yes! Have I been so happy that I've felt guilty for it? Yes! There have been more, better, bigger, and greater experiences since that night.

But…That night was the purest joy in the purest of form...for me. So that's my tops. Perhaps my expectations are not so high, that everything else is a great joy. I'm not sure. If you can find your measurement of "It doesn't get much better than this", I suppose you have achieved pure unbridled joy also.

Give it a try. Go into the history books of your life and find the moments when you can say to yourself, "It doesn't get much better than this". What was it? Where was it? Who were you with? What made it so special that you can bottle it?

As luck should have it, I recently had another, "It doesn't get much better than this", kind of day. My youngest son was playing high school football on a perfectly blue sky early fall day. It was around 16c with a slight breeze. There was a healthy crowd watching and cheering on this Saturday game. I was given free hot-dogs, potato chips and a soda (I rarely drink soda!)

As I watched my youngest son play football, surrounded by friends and family, while eating a yummy lunch I realized at that moment, "It doesn't get much better than this". Then it suddenly did. He scored his first touch down! I screamed and jumped up and down like a crazy lady. My potato chips went flying!

So, I recently reset my barometer to add this day too. I bottled both of these events together. I will remember both and hopefully add to them. The simple joys of life really hold the greatest value in your time. When the next simple joy falls into your lap, ask yourself, is it the red jersey or “It doesn’t get much better than this”?

—Suzanne Reisler Litwin

—AB

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