My Perfect Day


I stumble through my days in a perpetual state of discombobulation and oblivion, sifting through my thoughts for my current intention, wading through chaos for the object I seek. I long for clarity. Repeatedly, it occurs to me that my mind is a reflection of the clutter that smothers me at home and at work. Approaching my day is like walking through a sand storm. 

I try to convince myself and others that my approach enhances my life through the flexibility it offers. By winging it through my days, I remain open to the flashes of inspiration that occur so suddenly, and fleetingly. Still, how much more fulfilling my life could be if my mind were not a swarm of gnats, filled with the distraction that so interferes with the perfectibility of my days. Ah… to create a perfect day would require more hours than we are given. Would that I had the wherewithal to construct my days just so…

I awaken before anyone else in time to take advantage of my mind in its relaxed state and without distraction. It is still and dark, the sky just beginning to lighten in the east. I enter the kitchen which remains in the clean and tidy state of the previous evening. I savor the aroma of coffee as it culminates in gurgle and whoosh. The kitties wrap themselves around my ankles in purring contentment as I prepare their morning meal. I pour my coffee, settle comfortably in the living room, warm laptop alleviating the slight chill I feel. My eyes sweep the artful rugs, books lined neatly on the shelves, tasteful knickknacks, paintings, stained glass lamps that provide a warm glow to the woodwork. The scent of freshly mowed grass and lilacs wafts in on the morning breeze. Strains of George Winston play quietly in the background, filling me with the memory of young love. 
I am ready to begin my work: developing curriculum, writing an inspiring newsletter, planning for the coming season. Today I do the final draft of a piece of writing in preparation for Writers and Friends. The next hour is spent completely absorbed in the task at hand, and I am surprised when I hear the first wake up call upstairs, provided by the morning news. I slip back into our room for a warm snuggle with my beloved. We laugh and talk and listen to the stirrings of our sons.

I return to the living room to spend the next hour with my journal, dreaming, writing about the hilarious or invigorating or disturbing events of the previous day, taking inventory, making lists… This is perhaps the most important thing that I can do for myself, for when I am neglectful of this task, I become unhappy, irritable and discontent. Golden sunshine suddenly floods the living room as the sun makes it’s way over the hills in the east.

The shower is running constantly as the boys begin their synchronized morning ablutions. The slightest delay on the part of one leads to a squabble, but thankfully they are old enough to work these things out among themselves. They crash down the stairs to begin the kitchen dance in which they move about each other in relative silence, making their lunches and preparing breakfast among themselves. The house is a flurry of activity and swift goodbyes, abruptly silenced as they rush out into their day.

I close my journal, relieved that I have started the day off on the right foot. I descend to the basement to put a load of laundry in. Then clattering about the kitchen, singing along to Simon and Garfunkel or Cat Stevens, or the Moody Blues, I load the dishwasher, put things away, clean the counter, sweep the floor, and think about what to make for tomorrow evening’s meal. Gathering the ingredients, I start a pot of soup and pull a container of spaghetti sauce from the freezer. Once the soup is on, I head upstairs to make my bed, collect laundry, and shower. I luxuriate under the hot water with my favorite scented soap and shampoo. I further pamper myself with lotion and fresh, crisp, clean clothes. As I step into the hall, the fragrance of the soup prolongs my sensual delight. But now I need to step up my pace as I throw the laundry into the dryer, eat my own breakfast, and walk briskly to work. The day is perfect: clear, green, kissed with dew and the scent of new spring.

The phone is ringing when I enter the building and one of my closest friends is wanting to make a date for lunch. It has been some time since we have seen one another and my heart soars. I take a moment to return phone calls before the children arrive and thank heavens that I have mended my ways and left the building in readiness for today’s class. There is a plan, and everything that I will be needing for the day is ready in a place where it will be easily accessible. The children arrive happy and expectant, playing together while I speak briefly with parents. When the parents have left, I check in with each child. One presents a masterpiece that she has created for me.

The day goes smoothly, there are no tussles between children, everyone likes the snack I have chosen for the day, we have created works of art that make us proud, learned of something new, loved a story that had not been heard, and danced the wiggles out. The children depart, leaving me once again in silence.

My friend arrives for our lunch date and we go to a new place we have just discovered. We become so immediately absorbed in deep conversation that we lose ourselves and have forgotten to look at the menu. When lunch arrives, it so hits the spot that I swoon with pleasure. The world once again recedes as we resume our heart to heart, feeling completely at peace with one another as we divulge our innermost thoughts and concerns. Neither of us is in a big hurry, so we stop to browse our favorite garden center and come across a plant once seen, and since coveted. Not only that, there is a perfect spot for it in the garden. On the way back to my house, we burst into side-splitting laughter that hurts, brings tears to our eyes and leads both of us to dribble a tiny bit. We acknowledge to one another the amazing, incredible gift that is our friendship.

Traces of Eau de soup greet me as I enter the house looking forward to a well-deserved nap. I’m exhausted and have no trouble drifting into that state of total relaxation in which I am at the surface of deep slumber, thoughts wandering about non-sensibly between the strains of music penetrating my consciousness. I awaken feeling refreshed and rested to the sounds of boys horsing around downstairs and to the scent of fresh coffee. We banter over music that rather jars my senses and I feel intense gratitude for their presence in my life. I wish I could stay home with them, but have places to go and people to see.

My writing partner pulls up out front as I gather the things I need for the rest of the afternoon. I am filled with anticipation as we greet one another and pull out of the driveway. I heave the accustomed sigh of contentment as we enter the building and then settle in the garden for a bit of catch up before we turn our attention to the matter at hand. I marvel that spirit has brought the two of us together in our writing pursuits, because we make an awesome sounding board for one another, providing one another with support and encouragement and inspiration. The allotted time flies by and we part with a sense of magnetism toward our next writing endeavor.

I reluctantly turn to matters of business: phone calls, bills, classroom preparation for the following day. By now, I must summon my reserves, and thankfully get a second wind and so accomplish the necessary tasks before going home.

As I enter the house, I am greeted with the mouth-watering aroma of spaghetti and warm bread, my timing perfect. The table is set, and my dear husband greets me with a warm hug and kiss. The boys clamber in the kitchen as I serve up dinner. I am so tired that I eat in comfortable silence as I drink in the circle of love and appreciation and respect that flows between the six of us. The table is cleared and the kitchen cleaned up by the boys while my husband and I relax in the living room reviewing the day together.

I move into the evening by planting the garden treasure acquired earlier in the day, enlivening my soul-nurturing gardens as my spirit becomes one with the running water, the birdsong, children’s laughter, and the warm breeze rustling in the leaves. The phone rings. It is my Robin calling to discuss plans for our next visit. – RDW (6-23-08)




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