What Happened Today?

By Lloyd Graff

My day inches by. I was busy but a little scatterbrained. I know I had a dozen conversations, but by the end of the day it’s hard to remember who they were with. It is a dot on the calendar of life. Did I waste it?

I feel a certain degree of desperation about frittering a day away. I am very aware of the finiteness of my being, but I have found a way to experience my day in a generally positive way. Write about it.

I have a chunky black sketch book with creamy blank smooth pages. My pen is my luxury, a “Sakura Pigma Sensei” felt tip that I buy by the dozen at Walmart, but a Sharpie works too. I write fast and fat, chronicling my day.

I don’t write just about my work day. I record recollections of conversations, interesting stuff I’ve heard or read, emotions, feelings of gratitude or disgust. The scattered ups and downs of a day.

I find that I cannot do this writing late at night because I am too exhausted, but at 4:00 or 5:00 P.M. writing about my day revives me. I almost always discover something really good that happened that I had long since forgotten during the hurly burly of trying to run a business.

Try it. You will be happier for the effort. I bet you didn’t waste your day.


My brother-in-law Maury Minerbi, a wonderful guy, died last week after a heroic two-year battle with cancer. We can learn things from terrible events if we listen. My sister, Susan, Maury’s wife, told me how much she valued my frequent calls, wanting information about her husband.

The phone calls were really hard to make for me because I feared the worst and didn’t want to hear it. Most of the calls were made because my wife, Risa, picked up the phone and I listened in. But at least we connected, which was what Sue absolutely yearned for. It was not as hard for her to talk as it was for me to make the call. But I learned that you have to call, even when you rationalize to yourself that the other person probably doesn’t want to talk to you. Give them the opportunity to hang up.

Sue, thank you for teaching me to always summon the courage to call, even if I have no idea what to say.

Question: What is the most interesting thing you learned yesterday or today?

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5 thoughts on “What Happened Today?

  1. Ben

    I wrote in my daily book at breakfast for a couple of years. When I looked back through my thoughts about firing an employee, our dog’s death, fishing in Minnesota, I simultaneously valued that the words took me to the original places, and became embarrassed to leave them behind me. I threw that book away. Now that my dad’s gone, I think I would enjoy reading his book, but is it wise to go into his thoughts? He spoke carefully to be understood, as do I. Are my very thoughts safe in others’ hands? Is it worth the time investment to write what I would speak? No for now.

  2. Lloyd Graff

    Wow, Ben, what a fascinating comment. A therapist would love it.
    I would love to read a diary of my father or mother. Should we not record our day because we fear others would read it some day?
    It is the act of writing our own history that helps us make sense out of it, and tells us if we are paralyzed or active, though I think a paralyzed person would struggle to do it.
    Thank you, Ben for opening up like you did?

  3. Bill Fletcher

    Always make the call. I was diagnosed last year with an incurable cancer and kidney disease. I’m in good shape now but I was out of work for about 10 months. many friends and colleagues called or texted to see how I was doing though i was surprised by a few that i never heard from. It would have meant a lot to me to hear from them even if they didn’t know what to say. Always make the call!


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