Yes, I made a New Year’s Resolution. But instead of the ones that everyone breaks, like losing weight or exercising, I decided to make a simpler resolution. I promised myself that, from now on, every day will be either a good day or a great day. Now, I’m not a Pollyanna. I know that difficult things will happen to me, that there will be things that do not make me particularly happy, that there will be tough times, but despite these things, every day can still be at least a good day, because happiness is a choice and I have much to be grateful for.
It’s the 13th of January and so far, so good. I haven’t had any GREAT days but they’ve all been good days. This morning was the first test of my resolution. I was awakened at 7:30 AM by the landlord, who was dragging the trash cans around the parking lot. Just as I was about to drift off to sleep, he began hammering in the office on the first floor, directly beneath my bedroom. I finally gave up on the idea of sleep when, at 8:30, he began running a saw to cut tile. It was not an auspicious beginning to the day, but I refused to let it get to me. As I walked to downtown, headed for Sarasota’s annual Arts Day, I repeated over and over, it’s a good day, it’s a good day.
My mood lifted immediately when I arrived downtown, where thousands of people were meandering past hundreds of booths or attending performances at one of five stages set up around town: the Jazz Stage, the International Stage, the Contemporary Stage, the Teen Stage, the Student Stage, the Dance Stage, and the Circus Sarasota Stage. Immediately I joined the crowd on the lawn to listen to acoustic guitarist Ishmael Katz: