The Perfect Day

When I was young, in grade or middle school, I was asked to write about my perfect day. I remember how wonderful it felt even to consider a day where I could do whatever I wanted and where everything would be great. But instead of dreaming big, maybe imagining myself in my favorite place, like the beach or a water park, I focused on the most mundane details.

Food mostly, if I remember accurately. Specifically, I think I spent the majority of the essay writing about what I would eat for breakfast on this most wonderful of all days. I chose bologna, not the most magical food. I wrote about how I would warm the bologna up in the microwave on a pie plate, because when you do such a thing, bologna transforms, curling up beautifully in a way that was stupefying to me as a child. Inside I would put a piece of American cheese – the kind that comes in the plastic wrap – which would melt into a lake in the middle of my bologna. Then I imagined placing this magnificent creation on a piece of lightly toasted white bread and enjoying quietly it at the kitchen table.

Just as I took an imaginary salty bite, the teacher let us know our time was up, so I never was able to finish creating my perfect day.

I sometimes wonder what little me would have done with herself for the rest of her perfect day. As I see myself sitting at our long kitchen table, I don’t see anyone else, a rare moment of solitude in my large family. I suppose I imagined, since it was my perfect day, everyone else was busy or would get their days in turn.

Now that I’m older, I have lots of such perfect days. It is any day that isn’t rushed, where I can wake up slowly, drink my coffee, spend the morning reading or on my computer and eat breakfast with my husband. We don’t eat microwaved bologna, but the mood is much the same as the perfect day I imagined when I was a kid. Quiet, slow and relaxed.

I think that’s why people get so excited about summer, which we are thinking about this weekend in the U.S. as it’s a holiday weekend. It gives us a chance to be more like kids. To focus in on the small things. To feel the wind on our skin. To think a little smaller. To feel the earth with our bare feet.

These aren’t the things we normally think about when we think of a perfect day, but they are the things that make a day better. Whatever perfect means to you, here’s wishing you lots of perfect moments in your days.

A version of this post was previously published on CatherineLanser and is republished here with permission from author.

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