What is your perfect normal day?
Twenty four hours, it seems like such a long time. When you are a child awaiting the arrival of Santa, it can feel like a year. If you have a day before your lover leaves, it can feel like a heartbeat, and in between those extremes there are the normal everyday kind of days. The days where you are going to where you should be and doing things you have to do, the days that make up most of our lives, the where and the doing might change over time, however the patterns persist.
Who we are tends to become defined by those actions that we repeat, so we might want to pay attention to those choices that we make about our actions, at the very least we should be aware that we are actually making choices.
Whilst fantasying about a completely perfect day is fun, who does not like shopping in Paris or dreaming of sailing on the ocean. Not many of us have the money and the time to do them everyday, some of us might have one or the other but certainly not both. Even if we had friends who could come out to play everyday, would not constant fun everyday become tiring, unless you want to go to the opera every night, you should not included it in your perfect normal day. What we are interested in is what you could do everyday, repeating patterns of action that fills up our lives.
I invite you to consider, what if you did not have to worry about money or even obligations, what if you had a blank page, how would you day look, what day would you love to live everyday, what would you do? Many people immediate reaction to this question is to say, “I can't because...” I understand that, but no one is going to be upset at you for thinking about it. You are allowed to be as free as you like in your mind, and you might be surprised by your answers, especially if your life is close to what you want or could be with a few small changes.
It is worth being as detailed as you can be, a simple written down time line can give you amazing clarity, but where to begin? How much sleep would you like? Every perfect day begins with waking up refreshed, rather than a gallon of coffee! So a perfect day probably starts when you go to bed, you can not beat maths, if you want to get up at 6am and you need seven hours sleeps, that means you are going to bed at 11pm and if you do not you are comprising your perfect day before it has even begun.
What is the first thing you want to do in the morning? A little self-care seems to be popular, washing, exercising, mediating, walking, this is your perfect day, so do everything you want but remember you have to do it everyday. This is the focusing point of this article, what would you do everyday like you are doing things everyday at the moment, a twenty mile walk might be fun but everyday it might just take away too much time from other priorities. However a walk with a friend on the way back from work, that could be possible. As the airlines says, “put on your own oxygen mask first." You have to be kind and care for yourself first, before you can be kind and caring to others.
Look to what your priorities are, is it deep work, meaningful work, time playing with the kids, reading, writing, gardening. We have many buckets to fill up and it best not ignore any of them. It can be difficult to ignore your need for money so if you can not imagine having a trust fund, pretend that you are paid to do the things you love, that you are paid all the money that you need for writing that book or looking after your children. We are looking for the things that give you joy, divide your day in to half an hour blocks or whichever amount of time makes sense to you and start filling them with the things you love and bring you joy. Which can come in surprising form, making a safe home is satisfying, as is a secure income but our souls desire growth, so do not forget to feed it with learning, knowledge and gaining mastery in a skill that you love.
You need time to eat, but you can multi task and have lunch with friends or family. You can be greed for the chance to serve other, cooking dinner can be a joy to yourself and others, cleaning, tidying, sorting, are their own kinds of mediation. No one is judging what brings you joy, it can be as simple as a cup of coffee and a good sit down in the garden, pleasure is not complicated. There are so many simple things that can bring you joy, try to include them all.
And when you have finished building your perfect normal day, start asking how close am I to my perfect day? What is the smallest step towards it? If you enjoy your life apart from being tired, start to build in your sleep. If you realise that your life is missing something that is just for you, make time for it now if you can, many people say I would like to mediate, run, walk, even if you can only find 20 minutes, make the change and included something you love in your day. Everyone deserves at least that much time.
You might also be surprised how affordable your perfect life could be if you were happy with a perfect normal day everyday. You could be saving up for the kind of life a rock star would have, flying here and there, but if you just want your own version of what is perfect for you, you could be closer than you think.