What does your ideal day look like?
I’ve been thinking about this all day while I work, and I don’t feel like I have a great answer. Or, a satisfying answer.
If I get only one day that is ideal, I get to sleep as much as I want, no one talks to me, the dishes are done and the house is clean, there’s plenty of groceries in the house, and I have no childcare responsibilities. The weather is accommodating, I can either watch TV, or draw, or paint, or knit (or crochet!), or take a walk, and I can decide any of them on a whim. I have no deadlines or responsibilities, no task to accomplish.
If I get a string of ideal days, I do actually want to see my family (which I’m sure is somewhat reassuring to them). I wake up on my own schedule, and no one needs me to do what they need to do, but we are all congenial and happy to see each other. Breakfast is leisurely over the crossword, and I can share tea with Bob (coffee for him). After breakfast, I can do whatever I would like to do, for my own personal fulfillment, which might be anything. Literally anything. But nothing with a deadline, unless I’ve given it to myself. No one needs me to schedule their appointments, because they can do that for themselves. No one needs me to call insurance, because insurance in our country is magically socialized and it just works. There’s a thunderstorm in the afternoon that clears up after 22 minutes. During this time, I do something that feels productive but low-stakes. Perhaps read a chapter of a book. I make a dinner that everyone will eat, and I get to be creative while making it. It’s a real meal, not things thrown together. Everyone eats it and appreciates it. I enjoy making it and eating it. The dishes are done. I might participate in the dish washing, but I might not. They get done anyway. I stay up late puttering around on creative projects and go to bed feeling content.
Another ideal day. The kids are excited about whatever takes up the majority of their time. Perhaps Grant is in college or trade school, and the twins are working, or taking a gap year, or something. They all like what they do, and they can’t get enough of it. It drives them, and they all adopt at least one puppy or cat, that they can’t stop raving over. It’s fun to catch up with them. They don’t live at home, but one or more may live nearish. Bob and I decide to go to the lake house for the weekend. We call and invite the kids, and some are going to join us. We make a run to the grocery store to stock up the house when we get there. It’s fun picking out cheese. We stop by the house to get the dog, and grab our supplies. We listen to music on the ride and halfway through switch to a podcast we both like. It’s not about murder, so I will listen to the murder one tomorrow in the shower. We get to the house and throw open every window right away. It’s a sunny day and still just a touch cool. The breeze feels good as we unload the car and get things carried inside and put away. The dog is paddling in the shallow end of the pool, then gets a little too near me to shake. We laugh about it, because she does this every time. I even have a towel for it hanging on the back of the chair, right there. I am able to light the candle that I keep at the lake house, and it’s a bit of a treat. We have a quick, simple lunch, then take a bottle of local wine on the back patio. We stretch out and enjoy the quiet. The still-damp dog curls up with us, but that’s ok, we’re going to go swimming in a few minutes anyway. We swim for a little while, but then I get out because I want to go check on the wild flowers in the field. I’m going to pick some to draw tomorrow. I get my wellies on and the dog comes along. She has to jump really high to see over the grass, so she’s like a canine exclamation point on my meander. We gather up flowers for the table, and a couple specific specimens that I want to look at more closely later. The three of us take a walk into town to get ice cream at the local shop. We can see the lake down at the end of the street, and the shine from the sun is blinding. A young couple pet our dog and we talk a bit about her with them. We stroll back home, in time to see the first car turn into the driveway. I put our daughter to work setting the table for dinner, then she helps me start making dinner. A little bit later, our younger son arrives and he talks to Bob about sports things that he’s involved in. They’re both really happy about the outcome of the sports event. They like talking to each other about it even more. Our son comes and helps finish up making dinner so our daughter can go show her dad some photos from her most recent trip abroad. She loves to travel, and does a lot of solo traveling. We stay up late playing Clue, and then euchre, and it’s pretty late when we all finally turn in. We have well-worn old quilts and soft beds. When we get up in the morning our other son is sleeping on the couch with his shoes still on, and we’re all happy he came. We set the boys to making breakfast and take some tea outside to breathe. Deeply.