Have you ever played the If I Win the Lottery game? Variations include If Money Were No Object, If You Couldn’t Fail, What Do You Really Want To Do, No Regrets On Your Deathbed.
Perfect Day is my favorite iteration. To play correctly, you must master some subtlety. The danger is that you will only dream big and those dreams will stay out of reach, or you will dream too small and never realize the amazing possibilities. You must know how to dream big and small.
I’ll put myself out there to show you what I mean.
I am an artist, sought after for my one-of-a-kind, hand-crafted whatchamacallits. I spend my early mornings alone in the studio with a wall of windows and the sunrise streaming in. The coffee is hot and black. Two perfect croissants, a small platter of cheese and fruit, and cold cucumber water magically appear without any effort from me. It is quiet except for birdsong and breeze. I work on creating something beautiful and useful. I review the orders for my creations, leave instructions for my assistant, who will arrive to process the orders after I have gone.
Midmorning is spent working vigorously at something outdoors in the company of like-minded friends – hiking strenuously or digging ditches or building houses for charity.
In the afternoon, I shower, read, and write.
Evenings are for laughing and singing and music and food with family with twinkly lights and a warm atmosphere.
Looking it over, my big dream doesn’t really seem crazy.
How do I make it happen within the limits of my life as it is, within the confines of my responsibilities?
Without abdicating my role as queen of domestic the realm?
I believe my current role here is important. Occasional escapist fantasies aside, I’m not really looking to run away and join the circus leaving my kids to forage for nuts and berries while I live a life only to satisfy me. I know my calling – I’m just trying to figure out how to answer it a little better.
So, I’d need someone to take over cooking and cleaning and laundry and teaching. That ought to clear up a few hours. How could I make THAT happen? I’m brainstorming here.
I could train the children to take over quite a few of the household chores. Not in a slave labor way, but in a we’re all a part of this team and you must contribute more sort of way. It’s not unreasonable that they should all be doing their own laundry from beginning to end on a regular basis. It’s reasonable that summer could be a focussed training time to teach them proper K.P. duty. And it doesn’t have to be unpleasant. It could give them an encouraging feeling of autonomy and responsibility. It’s probably what I should be doing anyway to help equip them for adulthood.
We have an out building on our property that is in terrible disrepair, but the sunrise does strike it in a lovely way and the windows are large… Maybe someday?
As for the rest of it… it seems like mostly time management and some strategic lighting, doesn’t it?
Do you see why I like this game? It’s creative and inspiring and points out fixable flaws in our systems. It’s telling me that there are things I can do to create a more satisfying (and productive) life for me and my family.
So, do you have any big and little dreams? What’s your perfect day?