I remember the day she told me, I was having a devastating morning. I was about to take an entrance exam into the sixth grade. And this was a big deal because earlier that year, I’d failed fifth-grade—which drained my confidence.

I’m warning you beforehand, what I’m about to say is going to seem utterly ridiculous:

My mother once told me that I could conquer the world if I ate a decent breakfast. The whole world. All because of breakfast.

See? I tried to warn you.

Anyway, to this very day I’m still not sure how this meal can make conquering the world possible, but my mother never lies.

I remember the day she told me, I was having a devastating morning. I was about to take an entrance exam into the sixth grade. And this was a big deal because earlier that year, I’d failed fifth-grade—which drained my confidence.

But back to breakfast.

Mama made the greasiest meal. Three eggs, cooked in fat from a Maxwell House can, bacon, potatoes, grits, and toast hearty enough to sand the hull of a battleship.

I passed my test. I made it to the next grade. And eventually, my confidence began to improve. Thusly—and I’ve always wanted to use that word—I can only assume that breakfast played an important role.

Since then, I’ve always believed in the first daily meal. I ate a good breakfast the day I got married. A big one. That day, the waitress kept bringing me plates of pancakes.

“You must be starving, honey,” she said.

I smiled. “Thusly,” said I.

But I was only nervous-eating. Truth told, they weren’t even good pancakes—the blueberries tasted like freeze-dried goat pellets.

I also ate a big breakfast the day I got fired. My boss called me into his office and chewed me a new nose-hole. He said things so hateful I can still remember them. I quietly walked out of his office before he finished speaking.

I went to eat breakfast. I read the paper, I watched the sunrise. I had one of the best mornings I’ve had in years.

So I don’t know why I’m telling you this. I suppose it’s because I come from country people, and these people are full of ideas.

Our ancestors believed in smearing thick butter on toast, and in farm eggs. And they believed in the sacredness of early hours.

To them, it was the moment before the day had been written. And nobody knows what kind of day it will be.

Today could be boring. OR: it could be the sort that lives in your memory forever. It could be the day on which your whole life hinges. It could fall either way.

You might meet a new friend. A lover. A kid. A feral dog. An angel. See, while I write this, the sun is about to rise, and this seemingly normal morning might actually be a spectacular day in disguise.

And if you ask me, you owe it to yourself to be ready. Because once this best-day-ever happens to you, you’re going to look backward and realize that everything had meaning. Everything.

Your good moments were like swatches of fabric. Your painful moments were little pin pricks from a sewing needle, stitching you together like a quilt. And on your final day, you’ll see this quilt and think to yourself: “My God, wasn’t I beautiful?”

Thusly, you were. Very, very thusly.

Then, it will all come back to you. You’ll remember that blind kid in the Piggly Wiggly you held the door open for. The college student you hugged—you had no idea he was suicidal.

The man at the stoplight, holding a cardboard sign. The little girl at church you gave your outdated cellphone to, who had never owned anything so nice in her life.

The red headed kid who failed fifth grade, but was fortunate enough to have a mother who said he could conquer the world if he wanted. All he had to do was eat his eggs and toast.

Anyway, I forgot what I was talking about.

Oh yeah. Don’t skip breakfast today.


  1. S C Anderson - April 10, 2018 5:42 am

    Love it!

    • Theresa Clark - April 10, 2018 9:54 am

      Thank you once again. Such rich and delightful commentary. And it thusly brings a smile to my face as I go off to eat a good breakfast. And see what an amazing day God has given me as another beautiful and colorful thread in my life’s tapestry.

  2. Pamela McEachern - April 10, 2018 5:58 am

    I’m cut from the same cloth, if I miss breakfast then I am hesitate about the whole day. I hope you all have a great day and a full stomach to start this day.

    Peace and Love from Birmingham

  3. Jana O'Connor Hodge - April 10, 2018 6:30 am

    You’re the best!

  4. Gary - April 10, 2018 9:18 am

    Breakfast. Early morning. Sunrise. Nothing better.

  5. Jane Crabtree - April 10, 2018 9:19 am

    Well said.

  6. Debbie - April 10, 2018 9:36 am

    The 4 o’clock sky is my favorite.

  7. Penn Wells - April 10, 2018 9:44 am

    Sean, I know this is about how to begin the day, but you are, without a doubt, one of the best “closers” in the business. You last few lines brings it all home. Now, if you’ll excuse me. I’ve some eggs & patty sausage waiting for me. ?

  8. John - April 10, 2018 9:58 am

    How appropriate this is for today! We live in Texas and are visiting at our daughter’s house. Our fourth-grade grandson has a big test today and last night he told us what he was having for breakfast today. Two eggs over easy, bacon and toast (well done or “hearty enough to sand a battleship”). Thusly….. ?

  9. Julie Peterson - April 10, 2018 10:28 am

    This morning my retired husband has asked to take me to breakfast before I head to work. It’s already a great day.

  10. Trina V. - April 10, 2018 11:07 am

    I read your posts every morning while eating my breakfast. Thusly. Have a day that leads to one of those quilt pieces!

  11. Brenda - April 10, 2018 11:13 am

    Thank you Sean for your uplifting message today! You have such a gift! And I really needed it today….thusly, I think I will go have a big breakfast!! 😉

  12. Steven Porter - April 10, 2018 11:23 am

    LoL. #goodstuff

  13. Jon Dragonfly - April 10, 2018 12:20 pm


  14. Sherrie Kulwicki - April 10, 2018 12:31 pm

    Thusly, I love you.

  15. Todd - April 10, 2018 12:44 pm

    “Your good moments were like swatches of fabric. Your painful moments were little pin pricks from a sewing needle, stitching you together like a quilt. And on your final day, you’ll see this quilt and think to yourself: “My God, wasn’t I beautiful?”

    What a beautiful metaphor. I loved today’s post, but that phrase stood out. Awesome as always, Sean!

  16. Lisa - April 10, 2018 12:45 pm

    I love your posts and I love a big artery clogging breakfast (which I save for Saturdays with the grandchildren)! However, you should try a green smoothie. It will change your life and hopefully keep you around longer!

  17. Tonja Gill - April 10, 2018 12:51 pm


  18. Connie Havard Ryland - April 10, 2018 1:03 pm

    Dang it. Tears again this morning. You bring such vivid imagery with your words. Thanks for the reminder that pain only makes up part of who we are. How we deal with that defines us. Love and hugs. Have a beautiful day.

  19. Nix LaVerdi - April 10, 2018 2:08 pm

    Simply, beautiful.

  20. Cecelia Gibbs - April 10, 2018 2:27 pm

    As a new subscriber, I can tell, I am jut going to love this!!

  21. Ronda - April 10, 2018 2:36 pm

    All so familiar, in visiting my grandparents in TN, my most profound memories are of the big breakfasts grandma laid out. You must be there early for the best! Thanks for sharing!!

    Today, Sean, you are my smile!

  22. Dell stone - April 10, 2018 2:48 pm

    Sean my granddaughter introduced me to you with your book whistling Dixie. Her name is Nicole Mitchell she teaches at auburn I have fallen in love with you I am 85 years old. And originally from mobile Alabama

  23. Ralph - April 10, 2018 3:02 pm

    your mama was right, my grandma always said ” stoke a fire good in the morning and it will burn all day”

  24. Sandra Smith - April 10, 2018 3:56 pm

    I’m more of a “Brunch” woman. I can’t handle anything heavier than coffee before ten/eleven o’clock. But, I dearly LOVE breakfast for Supper.In fact, it’s what we had last night.
    And, since margarine is one molecule away from plastic, it was, thusly, Full of BUTTER !

  25. Wendy Franks - April 10, 2018 4:12 pm

    Thusly, I ditto Sandra Smith. ?

  26. Edna B. - April 10, 2018 4:15 pm

    Thusly is such an interesting word. Your phrase about stitching together your quilt was awesome. I often wonder if the quilt that I’m stitching will make a difference in the lives of my loved ones. Not that it matters, it’s my quilt and they are busy stitching their own. I loved your story. You have a super day, hugs, Edna B.

  27. Jack Quanstrum - April 10, 2018 4:30 pm

    Ha! Ha! Great story. Positive and inspiring! Thank you for it!

  28. Rose - April 10, 2018 5:14 pm

    After this column has been consumed and digested, I am, thusly, satisfied! Very good one!!

    • Sandi in FL - April 10, 2018 7:12 pm

      Rose, your remarks about Sean’s breakfast advice are the best among the 29 posted here!

  29. Judith - April 10, 2018 11:55 pm

    Love it. It is always a good day, to have a good day. Hmmmmmm..wonder who said that one. ?

  30. Nancy Rogers - April 11, 2018 1:30 am

    I am beautiful (as we all are) and I never skip breakfast. ?

  31. Jack Darnell - April 11, 2018 3:06 am

    The very morning coming up that I planned to skip and you write this stuff. THANKS DUDE! 😉

  32. Melinda - April 12, 2018 1:29 pm

    Read this while eating a hearty breakfast! Thusly I’m claiming that this will be a good day! LOVE your insights and hope to meet you in Tallahassee on Sunday at the Word of the South Festival.

  33. Ellen Shelley - April 12, 2018 3:43 pm

    Just wondering, Sean, how do you know what frozen goat pellets taste like? Never mind, my husband tries lots of pet foods before he feeds them to our animals. And, he even took the catfood to his junior high Sunday school class to give some kind of life lesson. Your Mama was right (they always are) breakfast is important!

  34. Janet Mary Lee - April 12, 2018 5:43 pm

    Life is enriched by breakfast and you, no matter when we eat it! Thusly, I am I satisfied….Thank you always!!

    • Janet Mary Lee - April 12, 2018 5:45 pm

      That’s : thusly am I satisfied….I need my breakfast….

  35. Gage Durbin - September 24, 2018 3:01 pm

    you inspire me to wright…!thankyou

  36. Sherri Hulsey - December 31, 2019 11:20 pm

    I saved the part about your good moments are like swatches of fabric. Loved that part of this story,but could not remember where I had read it. My daughter in law found it for me. Sean Dietrich you are a great writer. I read your blog everyday.


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