The assignment was simple: make a list of all the things that would go into a Perfect Day – and then see how close I could come to living it. The underlying impetus and theory: knowing what you’re looking for considerably increases the probability that you’ll actually find it. Cue Alice and the Cheshire Cat.
Where to begin? Oatmeal, a cup of hot mint tea, a good walk, for starters. Those were obvious the moment D. suggested I try to script a Perfect Day. “Focus on the details,” she said. “Where are you? What are you doing? Who else is there?”
The assignment was simple, but deceptive – and illuminating. How well do we know ourselves and what actually makes for a good day, let alone a “perfect” one? Where are you? What are you doing? Who else is there?
To my considerable surprise, I realized that one of the things that most reliably sets the tone for my day is the casual ritual of exchanging smiles with total strangers. I really like that connection – that low cost, high yield mutual affirmation with people I don’t even know. That shy-at-first-then-full-blown-grin of Good-Morning!
I can feel the physiology at work. My endorphines awakening and racing, laughing, through my veins. My eyes crinkling, face muscles stretching and luxuriating in the exercise. My brain spinning out stories about each person’s coming day. It’s a full body experience.
Which makes me think: what else? What small things can make big differences in our days and lives – and how do we do more of that?
So I’m going to work on a list. I’ll report back.