04 September 2011

Trifecta Days

I've taken a few philosophy classes over the years, both as an undergrad and during my graduate studies. And I've always enjoyed them. I guess I like the big questions: What is reality? How do people learn? Why are we here? Is there a God?

But, for whatever it's worth, despite my interest in the Big Questions, I've still always kinda had this idea that the vast majority of big-name philosophers spent way too much of their time over-analyzing the Sublime.  And, as a result, I think they failed to make many really valid attempts at better understanding the mundane, life as it is, on the ground, day-to-day. To me, rather than asking, Why are we here? an even better question, with just as many potentially deep philosophical portents, is: What should I do today?

As laypeople, it rarely gets much deeper than that for most of us anyway.

I was thinking about this the other day as I was riding my bike in the woods. As I was riding along I was thinking: All I really want to do is ride my bike. Why can't i just ride my bike all-the-time? Which, when I'm riding my bike is pretty much how I always feel.

In reality, of course, it's not a completely true thought though, is it? There are obviously plenty of other things I love to do, too.  Plus there are all the people that I love. And they figure into this equation pretty heavily as well.

And then there's altruism, huh?  The whole idea: What could I do for others today?  Oh. Yeah.  Riiiight.  Nearly overlooked that.

But this really isn't a post about altruism.  It's about a much more selfish ideal.  The ideal that asks-and-answers the simple proposition: What does it really take to have a Really Good Day?

(Just so you know: I'm not going to feel guilty right now, wrestling with the rightness and wrongness of this line of thinking.  We'll save that for another time.)

So, What makes A Really Good Day? Well, it occurs to me that the Very Best Days often, if not always, contain three similar elements. On the Very Best Days I:
  • A) spend real time with the people I love.
  • B) do something I'm passionate about.
  • C) indulge in something. Usually something that's rather pointless or frivolous.
On my Very Best Days, I achieve this rare Trifecta Of Selfishness, via any number of self-serving, self-satisfying means.  I could A) go on a hike in the woods with my family; B) spend the morning turning around runs at Snowbowl; and C) stop at the DQ and buy a large Mocha Moolatte.

Or I could A) go for a drive with my wife and daughter around town after dinner in the Bug with the top down; B) take a series of pictures of my kid playing with the dogs in the backyard; and C) spend an hour before bedtime wrenching on my bikes in the garage.

Or whatever.  You get the idea.

They're suuuuper selfish.  I get that.  And these sorts of days, they do very little for others.  I get that, too.  But still, despite their indulgence, and the selfishness of it all, I've got to admit: I absolutely love my Trifecta days.