I had a glorious day today. Although Sylvia is in full-day daycare two times per week, it’s been over two weeks since I’ve had a string of hours to work. And folks, I love to have several uninterrupted hours to work. For me, right now, it doesn’t get much better than six hours of me and my laptop at a coffee shop working on my photography business.
My major focus this morning was on strategic planning. I purchased a workbook to help me create a business plan. I’ll admit here in a hushed whisper that although I’ve been in business for 32 months, I don’t have a written-down business plan. Shhhh. It’s in my head. But not on paper. Until now. I started today and plan to finish a draft by the end of the month.
One of the first exercises in this workbook is to envision your perfect day. The idea is to think about the things in life that give me the most joy so I can be sure my plan aligns my personal and professional goals.
I’ve had fun with this exercise. And I thought I’d share my perfect day mullings here.
Perfect Day 1
I wake up to glowing sunlight sparking on freshly fallen snow and I snuggle back down into my thick, soft sheets. I feel rested, having just gotten 8 hours of sleep, and as I roll over, I see the snuggly body of a little one curled between me and Bryan. A few moments later, I hear some pitter pats of feet, and a second sleepy child is cuddling. Hands touch, arms wrap, we all breathe deeply together. Words don’t come for a while as we all slowly wake up together, ready to start a new day. Then somebody tickles somebody. Giggles erupt. There’s some wrestling and laughter, and everyone bounds out of bed to get dressed and ready for school and work and daycare.
I take my laptop to a cozy cafe, order a latte, and settle down for seven hours of uninterrupted work. No meetings, no errands, no housework, no phone calls. Just me and my to-do list. Four hours later, I stand up and buy lunch. A couple hours later, I get up, stretch, and head out pick up my kids. I’m refreshed and energized from my day. It’s as if the computer and I just wrote a symphony together and I can still hear the melody running through my mind.
The kids and I come home, the two of them chatting about their days. At home, I smile at the clean, unclutteredness of our surroundings. I check the mail – a letter from a friend! The kids and I eat a healthy, yummy snack and sit down to read a couple chapters from a book together. I love feeling their bodies warm against mine as we read together. They tell me more about their day and then they run off to play imaginative games happily together. The doorbell rings – it’s a shoe delivery! Our baby sitter comes over and makes supper for the kids while Bryan and I get ready to go out for sushi. We kiss our smiling kids adieu and head out for an evening of adult conversation, good food, and companionship.
Ahh, yup, that sounds like a perfect day to me. But it’s not the whole picture. So here’s
Perfect Day 2
The kids, Bryan, and I all wake up in a tent. Only the birds can be heard. Getting up and dressed is a disorganized, messy endeavor, but we all laugh through it. The day lays before us like an adventure – there will be swimming and hiking and birding and climbing. Berries may be eaten. Campfires will be built. Mosquitoes and flies don’t exist.
The day is ours, and we spend it – mostly together, sometimes alone – outdoors. Until the diamond-like stars fill the sky, the fire burns down, and we all turn in (a little sticky from all the ‘smores), under the same tent where we sleep and dream together as a family.
Then there’s Perfect Day 3
Someone I love but who lives far away (ie. Maretta, LuAnn, Melanie, Heather, Grace) is in town. We spend a few hours together walking around or making something or shopping or cooking together. It’s a lot of fun! In the afternoon, I take my camera and head outdoors to photograph flowers and trees and other things that hold still and don’t make demands on me. My spirit is restored. I look at the calendar and realize that a friend should be receiving the surprise bouquet of flowers I had sent to them. It makes me smile to imagine their happiness. When I check my email, I see that I’ve got a couple new client inquiries and another client wrote to tell me how happy she is with her pictures. I feel happy and satisfied. I pull out a couple pints of farmer’s market berries and make a delicious dish to bring to an evening get-together of my Gathering Waters co-workers. The UPS man delivers a camera bag that I’ve been admiring for ages. My house is clean and yet, I didn’t clean it. I go for a run in the evening and watch the stars come out. After dinner, Bryan and I snuggle on the sofa and watch Bleak House.
Perfect Day 4
It’s a summer morning. The kids and I meet up with Jessica, Eli, and Celia, and walk down to the pool for swimming lessons. The day is already hot, and the sun is bright. The kids are laughing and playing, running up ahead. While the kids are in the pool, Jessica and I lean back on the pool deck and soak up the sun while we catch up and help each other clear our minds. After swimming lessons, we walk the kids home and play in the yard and the garden for a while, playing peek-a-boo with the girls in the bean tepee. A baby sitter comes over to take care of the kids while Jessica and I go to a spa for massages and facials and (hey why not) pedicures and manicures too. Then we stop for a delicious, locally grown and amazingly tasty meal. We go shopping for cute new summer dresses. When we come home, our husbands have gotten together to prepare a delicious dinner – grilled chicken, corn salsa, watermelon, and a strawberry spinach salad. The kids eat and then run off to play while the adults all sit around the picnic table, watching the cool evening settle across the sky. We drink sangria and laugh and breathe.
I’m sure I could come up with more! There could be a perfect day at Jack’s, a perfect day in Texas, a perfect day on vacation with my honey, a perfect day including one-on-one time with each of my kids. I like the fact that each my perfect days are relatively attainable. There’s a lot of child care available in my perfect days. And a lot of unscheduled time for myself. And there is a serious absence of any household maintenance in my imaginary perfect days. Interesting:)
Well that was a fun exercise. It certainly put a smile on my face. Thanks for reading!
Now it’s your turn. What would a perfect day be like for you? What’s stopping you from making your perfect day happen?