The Perfect Day

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Perfect days are rare. They are usually some huge momentous event like getting married or the birth of a child. Whatever your definition of the perfect day, it usually looks like those fictional, happy women in the tampon commercials that are frolicking about with their hair blowing in the wind. I don’t know about anyone else, but when I try to frolic like those girls in the commercials, I am usually tripping over my own feet, eating my hair, and trying not to break an arm or something as I fall down.

Some of the perfect days in my life that have held great significance include:

  • My college graduation when I received my bachelor degree after 15 years of trying to overcome the challenges in my life and really fighting for it.
  • My first major league baseball game when I got to see my favorite team play at home. This was huge for multiple reasons (but that is probably a TBT post).

Perfect days usually require a lot of thought, planning, and organization in order to successfully pull them off. In my quest to slow down, I realized that I had the perfect day recently. In fact, I have had more than one perfect day. None of them revolved around any majorly significant event, but they were just days when you are so happy to be alive.

I don’t know about you, but I do not have those days often enough.

I have been taking advantage of my park pass this year by trying to visit parks in my state that I have never seen before. I always take a backpack of supplies and a cooler. The only expense to these day trips, really, is gas money. The first few day trips I took, I also took my schoolwork with me. Grad school never ends. I have spent so many years working 60 hours a week, that every moment I was not working, I was doing school, so to have uninterrupted time to do nothing was rare.

Now that my schedule with my new job is much more manageable and I *gasp have leisure time on my hands, I am learning that I do not have to do my schoolwork every moment when I am not at my job. I now have time to be able to complete my schoolwork at a comfortable pace, and I still have time left over.

My time left over has been spent at the parks, the beaches, running, reading, and on my surfboard.

When I go to the park, I go old school. Remember those carefree days as a teenager when a day at the beach meant a towel slung over your arm and a copy of Ratt magazine? You don’t need the radio flyer wagon full of beach chairs, beach umbrellas, and other paraphernalia. Well, maybe you do. But if you keep your beach list simple, it might be more fun to only carry one bag and not have to try to pull a wagon through the sand.

I realized on one of my excursions last week that it was the perfect day. It was nothing like a commercial. I did not pack the car and have an impeccably planned itinerary. I slept in, left the house when I felt like it, and was in no hurry to arrive. Once I was at the park, I realized it was one of the first times I had not brought any of my schoolwork with me. All my schoolwork was caught up. I had time to spend the day as I chose and was able to read a novel not related to my masters thesis. I went surfing, made sandcastles, and got involved in a pick up game of football in the lake.

Yes, my hair was blowing in the wind, but it wasn’t like some luxurious commercial. It was a hot mess. I had sand everywhere, missed some parts of my body when using sunscreen, and did not pack enough food. But, it was the perfect day because it was one of the few times when I could just BE. I had nothing to worry about, and the freedom to do anything I chose.

I just rolled with the waves I was riding. It was not the perfect day because the waves were great and I never fell off my board. I mean, yes, the waves were great, but I fell off my board. That’s okay. It was the perfect day because I was just totally content to literally and figuratively roll with those waves. I was okay with being tossed in the water. I was just happy to be there.

I know many people who obsess over details and get upset if things do not go just right. Ok, so I may have arrived an hour later than I initially planned, but that did not bother me one bit. I was an hour “late” because I needed the sleep, and once there, I thoroughly enjoyed the time I had at the park.

Maybe to have the Perfect Day, we need to relinquish control instead of trying to micromanage every single detail. Maybe it’s not about choosing the fonts of the invitations, but rather, the people that are going to share your moment as the result of those invitations.

The Perfect Day means something different to everyone. To some people, embossed envelopes may be important. To me, they are not.

The Perfect Day is a day when I can just be myself and exist as a person, have no worries, and enjoy the moment I am in. Tomorrow is not promised. Today is a gift. That’s why it is called the present.

What are you going to do to try to have more Perfect Days in your life?

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