Reading books about goals or time management, you’ll often find the authors encouraging you to envision (and write down) the perfect day.
I’ve always had a difficult time with this assignment, because for me, there are many versions of a “perfect” day. (At least one of them involved a roadside cafe somewhere in the French countryside.)
Towards the middle of Tuesday, however, I realized that it may very well be my current idea of a perfect day. Let me explain.
Firstly, I woke up with a stomachache (that I went to bed with) at 6 AM. The good part about that is that once I got up, the pain abated. But I was up, so I stayed up. I haven’t been successful at waking up before my youngest lately, and it’s been difficult for me. I really need that time to myself in order to function at my best. Tuesday, she decided to sleep cuddled up with daddy – and I had TWO AND A HALF HOURS to myself before anyone else in the household woke up.
I drank cafe au lait that I made with my French press. I read my Bible (I’m in Judges – the account was about Deborah and Jael, two righteous ladies who don’t mess around).
I worked on my French for about an hour.
I cleaned a couple of rooms.
I threw some stuff away. (Throwing stuff away always makes me feel good!)
People started rousing at around 8:30, so I made breakfast.
Lately, I’m a bit obsessed with bruschetta. I had it over toast with a fried egg. Perfection.
We dove into the schoolwork.
It was absolutely gorgeous out, so we went to the park for awhile. The big kids played bocce while the little ones ran around the playground.
I wrote a blog post.
We played outside. My son Julien’s latest project, the Baja, is almost finished. I took it for a spin. Look ma, no brakes!
When my husband got home we went for a walk.
After dinner (which was yummy and turned out well), we headed out to Barnes and Noble. I bought a few books for the kids and a French grammar book for myself. It has exercises and tests to fill in and everything, rather school-like, to add to my language learning arsenal. How fun!
When we got home, Caleb persuaded me to watch his new favorite show, Sherlock, with him. Featuring the wonderful Benedict Cumberbatch (who reminds me of Caleb), it’s free on Amazon.com. I loved it!
After that it was off to bed.
There are several reasons this was a perfect day for me. It combined several important elements:
- Getting up early, and having time to knock off two of my daily must-do items (Bible, French)
- Sunny weather, and spending time outside
- Movement – going for a walk
- Meaningful work (for me, this is blogging)
The point of the perfect day exercise is to help you understand the things that have the biggest impact on your happiness, hopefully so you can recreate them as often as possible in your schedule. In the first pages of 168 Hours, author Laura Vanderkam described one of her perfect days for this reason.
What events would make up your perfect day?
(The only thing that would have made this day even more perfect? Meeting a friend for coffee. Here’s one perfect day I described two years ago.)