Those Gold Star Days

Are you having a gold star day?

Remember back in grade school how wonderful it felt when the teacher affixed a gold star to the top of your work? It meant you’d done a terrific job, you answered all the questions right, you were number one, and you had something to show for all your hard work.

Back then, that gold star no doubt put a smile on your face and sent a warm fuzzy feeling coursing through your bones. You probably haven’t thought about those little gold stars in a long, long time, have you?

I can’t help thinking how delightful it would be if an editor stuck a gold star on my manuscript, sent it back and said, “You did a terrific job. We want to publish your book. You’re number one!” Even if they were unable to publish it, having that gold star would at least bring a smile to my face. They truly liked my work!

I wouldn’t mind having a box of gold stars for myself. If I had some I’d stick one to the calendar page each time I had a gold star day. That way, when I’m down and feeling sorry for myself, I could look back at all the gold stars I’d collected along the way and still feel that sense of accomplishment. I sound pretty confident, pretty sure that there would be plenty of stars, don’t I?

It’s not that there are so many outstanding, wonderful moments of accomplishment in my life. In fact, I do lead a pretty simplified life by some standards. I usually tell people I’m about as ordinary as they come, and I mean it. But do you know what? When I’m paying attention to life, and looking for the good, rarely a day goes by when something doesn’t come onto my radar, something that gives me that same warm feeling I’d get when the teacher was giving out gold stars.

It would be easy for me to say that my gold star day would be when I get a phone call telling me my latest manuscript has been accepted for publication, or that I’d just landed my dream job, maybe even won the new home from the latest QE11 lottery. Well, sure all those things would definitely win me a gold star. But does it have to be that big? That exciting? I mean how many times in my life will I receive a welcomed call from an editor? Win big on the lottery? Find my dream job?

But you know what? I don’t want to have to wait for just those moments to get my gold star. And who ever said we only deserve gold stars for something REALLY big. Perhaps we spend so much time looking for those huge big gold star days that we forget that there are a lot of smaller moments of gold in our lives. What about the kind words we send to a friend who needs cheering? The smile we flash a total stranger who is looking hurried and frustrated? Those moments when we are on the receiving end of someone else’s kind deed?

If you’ve had a gold star day recently I’d like to hear about it, big or small, put a smile on my face…Earn you own gold star!

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24 Comments

  1. duke1959

     /  December 16, 2010

    You are always a star to us!

    Reply
  2. Hi Laura,

    Great post. Yesterday was a gold star day for me. I was appointed to the management team at work (a really big deal, and a huge vote of confidence from my boss and the CEO); my boss took our department out for a holiday lunch; the CEO phoned to congratulate me on some freelance articles I had written (this has never happened before!); and when I did a test run of my kickboxing test that evening, I ran faster than I ever have before, even though I was exhausted. I did a half-mile in four minutes and four seconds. A good day all around. :)

    Reply
    • Sounds like a great gold star day to me, Holli! But from what I’ve read it didn’t just stop here. Congrats to al the gold stars you’ve picked up this past while..:)

      Reply
  3. That email announcing they want to send a contract is truly a gold star day. But now that I’ve been fortunate enough to have one of “those” days, I’m profoundly grateful for the little ones, as you say, that are ordinary. There are too many to mention. Bit marking them on a calendar is a great idea. Then when those dark days surface, I can look back at how many bright days I’ve had. And that alone would probably turn the dark day into a gold star day.

    Thanks, Laura. Receiving your book in the mail was a gold star day!

    Reply
    • Aww! Joylene, I felt the same way when you’re book came to me! I do think it’s important to recognize those smaller gold stars. I think most of us can find something in their day to make us smile. At least I hope so.

      Reply
  4. What a great post. I love the optomistic view of the world. You’ll go far in life with that kind of attitude.
    Thanks for visitng my blog. It’s a joy to meet you and find your blog.

    Reply
    • Thanks Ciara! I do try to remain optimistic but, like everyone else, I do have those days when I really have to look for something to be grateful for. It’s not always sunshine and roses in my world, but for the most part I haven’t anything to complain about.

      Reply
  5. I agree with you, Laura. Gold stars can be meaningful for the little things that light up our lives. After dinner, my husband said, “Thank you for a delicious meal.”

    I felt like I’d received a gold star. He does that everyday, yet, I appreciate it as though it were the first time. Like you, the little things make a gold star impression on my heart. Blessings to you…

    Reply
    • It is nice when people make the effort to let us know that something we’ve done is appreciated. Thank you for sharing your gold star moment.. :)

      Reply
  6. Taking my daughters to the historic section of town and walking the neighborhoods all lit for Christmas, then heading over to the Tower Theater for a Christmas concert performed by Canadian students who are touring the US. Then on the way home we drove through Christmas Tree Lane: two miles of Christmas spectacular, all for free. A beautiful night out that didn’t cost a dime.

    Reply
    • Sounds truly wonderful Tricia. As you pointed out these special times do not always have to come with a price tag attached.

      Reply
  7. I was picking up a box of my mom’s (& my) favourite chocolates for her Christmas present. My husband said, “Buy some for yourself and start Christmas early.” He gets a star for that one.
    My son’s school concert was another gold star moment. I watched and enjoyed young people have a wonderful time making music, and I had the added surprise bonus of reconnecting with an old friend.

    Reply
    • Yes, your husband definitely gets a star!!! A very good pint–we need to treat ourselves once in awhile, too.

      I always loved the school concerts when my kids were growing up. They were definitely gold star moment, each and every one of them.

      Reply
  8. Well, of course, my recent trip earned a series of gold stars … especially the days spent with my grandbabies. :-)

    Thank you for this reminder to look for the good in every day, Laura. I have so much anxiety over my writing at the moment, that it’s easy to see only blackness. I must try harder to push that back so I can see the gold.

    Reply
    • Glad this post helped to remind you in some way to look for the good in our lives.

      Days spent with grandbabies deserves the biggest and brightest stars. Don’t you think?

      I hope you are able to turn your anxiety around soon. You have a lot to think about, and decisions to make. You however, deserve a gold star for writing your novel, for pouring your heart and soul into it. I look forward to the day when the rest of us will be reading it, too. :)

      Reply
  9. I hope you have many gold star days! I ran errands all day and was in and out of stores and traffic, and never once encountered a rude person…everyone seemed to be filled with holiday spirit – now I call that a gold star day!

    Reply
  10. I really like that idea of putting a gold star on the calendar when it’s a good day. I think you didn’t mean it literally, but what a great idea – for my writing it would be great, because then I could see that I had gotten in small bits of writing time. It all would accumulate in an obvious way!! :)

    Reply
    • I think there’s something special about gold stars, don’t you? It would be an excellent way for you to keep track of those days when you are able to squeeze in some writing time. That way you can remind yourself that you are indeed moving forward. :)

      Reply
  11. So true! Esp. when having company over I stress over my house. When really, that’s all pride. it’s too worth it to get together with friends or family to let the small things get to us!

    Reply
    • I totally agree with you, Laura. It’s the gathering together, the laughter and the joy we encounter, that means the most! Thank you for visiting my blog and for your comment. :)

      Reply
  12. My first grade teacher had a poster board with the students’ names down the left side. Every time one of us finished reading a book, we were allowed to add a start next to our name. My stars soon reached across the poster and onto the wall. I’d forgotten that until I read your post. :)

    Reply

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