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What Makes a Good Day?

By Del Albright, BlueRibbon Ambassador

In the fight for access to public lands, it's not always easy to have a good day. We're always pushing water uphill it seems, or arguing objectively with someone who lives on emotional pleas.  You can choose to have a good day and not allow someone to dictate your happiness. Read more here.

Have a great day! Enjoy your day. Hey, what a good day.

You've heard and probably used these expressions many times. It is something we do automatically. Have a nice day. It's a common courtesy. But what really makes a good day for those of us involved in keeping public lands open?

If you've read this far, then I suspect you're already involved in the fight for access. So you know it's awfully easy to NOT have a good day. Seems like we are always trying to push water uphill or teach a pig to sing. But the fact is, we do have some really good days.

When national, state, and regional organizations report that membership is up, that's a good day. When coalitions of multiple use interest join forces to file a lawsuit or cross claim to keep the anti-access folks from shutting us out, then that's a good day too.

On the other hand, a bad day is when we hear that another trail has been closed or that another National Forest is implementing some new plan to make more Wilderness without considering our input. A bad day is one that ends in leaving us depressed.

Well I say bunk! We all deserve to have good days; more good ones than bad ones in my way of thinking. The bottom line is that each day is what you make of it. I don't believe in having bad days. Oh, no doubt, I'll have some bad moments; but not a bad day. I'd like to share with you how that is possible because I believe that if we can find more good days, we'll stay in the fight so we can all keep enjoying our form of recreation.

Since 9/11, I think we've all learned that we should count our blessings every day. I know this event seriously reminded me that life is precious and we should not waste our time on things that bring us unhappiness. There is a lesson here for all of us.

I am fortunate in that I learned this a long time ago when I got on the plane to come home from Viet Nam. I decided then and there to NOT have bad days; but rather to enjoy every day and to find something to smile about at the end of each day. This revelation came at a price; but one that I'm glad I paid. I would not want to live through going to war again; but I will never lose sight of the insight I gained by doing so.

We must, and can learn to have good days. Each day is what we make of it. Each day is measured by how we react to the things that happen to us. It's our reaction that counts. If we allow someone else to dictate how we feel about our day, then we're likely to have more bad than good days. I say, Choose how you react. Don't allow yourself to be suckered into someone else's bad day. It's about allowing and choosing.

Allow and choose are words I keep posted in front of my computer as I go about my daily emails and writing. I remind myself that I have the option to choose how I react to things; and that I do not have to allow someone else to determine how my day goes. It's my choice.

If you're at a land use/access type meeting and some anti-access person is really getting your goat by their endless tirade of stupidity, go ahead and have a moment. But don't let that rule the way to end your day. Reflect on something good by the time you hit the sack so that you can make something good out of your day. It'll make you a healthier person in the long run.

So with that in mind, have a truly good day.

Del Albright, internationally published columnist, State Environmental Affairs Coordinator for CA4WDC and BlueRibbon Ambassador, has authored volumes over the last 20 years on land use, outdoor recreation, and access. Visit Del's web site at or email Del at

This article may be re-published with permission from the author.

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