Today is a Great Day To…

I don’t know about you, but winter is hard.

I struggle when the days are gray and cold and I can’t be outside enough. This year, my winter was better for a number of reasons, but the one thing that got me through was getting outside every single day, even when the weather was crappy.

For Christmas, I got the book The Open Air Life by Linda Akeson McGurk. It’s a beautiful gifty book that probably could have been a long article, but it did inspire me to get outside by reminding me that there’s no excuse, you just need the right gear/attire.

So I layered and bundled up and started walking, and eventually running up the dirt roads near our house. The roads wobble up and down and side to side, along cow pastures, farms, and a few homes. I’ve gotten to know them well and I’m on a first name basis with a few of the cows (number 10 and number 545 are my favorites).

As I set off each morning, the sun is just rising behind the Massanutten mountains to our east. A lot of mornings the light show is incredible.

As I walk, my mind wanders through the day to come, my young adult kids, the novel I’m working on, my nonprofit work, our dogs, the fosters, our new life in Virginia. I think of all I want to do and share and be, not just for that day, but for my life.

And I want to share it with you. I want to tell you about the spectacular morning light show over the mountains, the miracle of the newborn calf brilliantly white despite the muddy field, and the shape of the trees lining the little stream, some whose girths are so expansive I wonder if they aren’t centuries old.

I want you to be as inspired as I am walking into another day knowing it’s a fresh chance to be the person you want to be, living the life you want to live.

I’ve begun a new practice of sharing just one picture from my morning walk and with it my intention for the day on social media in the hopes that it will brighten someone’s day or inspire them to adopt my intention or consider their own.

Choosing just one picture from the cascade of beauty I am blessed with each morning isn’t easy. Here are a few pictures I haven’t used:

I like my new habit and hope to keep it up, snapping a morning picture each day even when I’m not surrounded by the beauty of our valley. (I’m leaving on a shelter tour next week – so I’ll be looking for beauty in the parking lots of the Days Inn most likely.)

If you’d like to follow and/or share your own intentions, connect with me on Facebook or Instagram.

It’s up to us each day to choose to make it a great day, whatever that looks like for you.

I believe intention is the root of happiness.

We can make our days – and so make our lives—whatever we want them to be.

Hey, thanks for reading. I know you’ve got lots of options, so thanks for sharing a few of your minutes with me.



My latest novel, Blind Turn is a mother-daughter story of forgiveness in the aftermath of a fatal texting and driving accident. Learn more about it and find out how to get your copy here.

If you’re curious about what else I’m up to, check out my website,

If you’d like to subscribe to my occasional e-newsletter, click here.

And If you’re a dog lover, check out my other blog, Another Good Dog. And if you want to know what is really happening in the animal shelters in this country, visit, Who Will Let the Dogs Out.

I’d love to connect with you on Facebook, twitter, or Instagram, and I’m thrilled to get email from readers (and writers), you can reach me at

My book, 100 Dogs & Counting: One Woman, Ten Thousand Miles, and a Journey Into the Heart of Shelters and Rescues is available anywhere books are sold, but if you’d like some help finding it (or want to read some lovely reviews), click here.

Author: Cara Sue Achterberg

I am a writer, blogger, and dog rescuer. I live in the darling town of Woodstock, Virginia in the Shenandoah Valley with my husband and three rescue dogs (who rescue me on a daily basis). Find more information about my books, my dogs, and all my writing adventures at

7 thoughts on “Today is a Great Day To…”

  1. Yep. Every day — even those that look like bad days — have beauty we don’t know about until we’re out there. Except today, I think. We’re having the wind from hell and dangerous dust storms. Even the dogs don’t want out, but most of the time, we’re out. Nice to read you.


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