There was a wedding in Canada I went to last summer that basically went on for a week. It felt like every day leading up to the “big day” was a celebration. The bride and groom planned food tours around Montreal, different city walks during the day, and all sorts of expeditions on the days before the wedding.
The wedding day itself was amazingly fun, creative and beautiful. It was one of the most enjoyable weddings I’d ever been to. And then the week continued on.
The afternoon after the wedding a bunch of the wedding party and a few friends all met up again to have lunch and get some poutine (which is a delicious Canadian french fry dish where fries are mixed with cheese and gravy, creating pure happiness.) While we ate, I asked the bride how she was feeling. She replied in an only half-joking bittersweet tone: “It was the best day ever… I want to do it again!! I wish I could get married every day…I can’t believe it’s over!!”
As we wandered around one of Montreal’s parks with our cheesy gravy-covered fries, I thought about how her long anticipated big day had come and gone. The bride’s “best day ever” was now yesterday.
The day after the best day ever always feels like a gamble; Even if it’s pretty good, it’s worrisome that the happy feelings will subside. There’s this residue of greatness now gone that hangs in the air. It’s so hard to hold on to that best day- when it occurs, the urge arises to grab it, but it always slips away.
Sometimes a yearning for ‘yesterday’ will leave me feeling unsatisfied and melancholy; And what’s funny is that even though this ‘day after the best day’ will happen every time, I always struggle against it. I wonder when and if another ‘best’ day will come again…and I wait. And I remember.
But then, in certain moments when things are calm, I think of all the other days and what they might mean. I wonder about them- there are so many more days stretching before me than there are those special, momentous ‘best days ever.’ Will they mean anything in my life? Are they only here to be squandered?
And in my clearest seconds, sometimes during a run at dusk or mid-meditation or on a long bus ride home, I feel a spark of contentment, a flicker of gratitude, a flash of clarity.What if today- and all those ‘other days’ and ‘other moments’ – are equally as great as the best days? Sometimes the clear feeling is as subtle as a touch of wind, and is gone as fast as it came. For the moments in its wake, I’m left confused, struggling to grasp the insight and bring it back to me. But as of late, my goal has been to embrace the confusion and just let it go.
What if the best day ever wasn’t yesterday or won’t even be tomorrow, but is actually right now?