Journaling Idea #22: Count Your Day

By replica by François D’Albert Durade (1804-1886) – National Portrait Gallery: NPG 1405, Public Domain

Count That Day Lost

If you sit down at set of sun
And count the acts that you have done,
And, counting, find
One self-denying deed, one word
That eased the heart of him who heard,
One glance most kind
That fell like sunshine where it went --
Then you may count that day well spent.

But if, through all the livelong day,
You've cheered no heart, by yea or nay --
If, through it all
You've nothing done that you can trace
That brought the sunshine to one face--
No act most small
That helped some soul and nothing cost --
Then count that day as worse than lost.

Many have been inspired to reflect on their day by the words of the Victorian novelist and poet Mary Ann Evans (22 November 1819-22 December 1880), who published under the pen name George Eliot.

My wife’s high school English teacher Ora Mae Kirk regularly exhorted her students with a variation of Eliot’s words. She proclaimed, “Count that day lost in which you learn no knew thing.”

Considering the success of your day can be meaningful reflective activity for all of us. You may make this judgment a part of your daily writing. You may include it as a part of a traditional diary approach to journal writing, or you may choose to keep a mini journal where all you record are your wins and losses.

You can adopt the criteria of George Eliot, Ora Mae Kirk, another moralist, or one of your own making.

You might find inspiration for your own criteria for a well-spent day in one of Ananya Bhatt’s “50 A Day Well Spent Quotes for Friends and Family.”

Whatever your criteria, you might want to write it out inside the cover of your journal.

I say, “Count each day where you write from both your head and your heart a day well spent.”


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