But I digress. Yesterday was, other than the drive to Hudson, a low key, at-home kind of day. I am not much for the pressure and inevitable disappointment and self-loathing surrounding New Year's resolutions, but I did start thinking about happiness (also thanks to my old friend Gretchen's Happiness Project, which I encourage everyone to check out, in spite of her New Year's resolution advocacy) and what creates it for me, in the context of how to have a day, a single day, that feels successful and satisfying. This led me to the idea of a perfect day, and the immediate realization that it is, of course, unattainable. But an asymptotic approach is, I think, entirely realistic.
1. Physical activity, preferably strenuous. It could be a great vinyasa yoga class, or it could be snow shoveling and hill climbing (yesterday's activities of choice and necessity.) I am infinitely calmer, stronger and happier on days where I really exert myself.
2. A sense of accomplishment at some activity. Could be mundane--yesterday I ironed and starched a bunch of white dinner napkins. I've never bothered to do that before (my new focus on mechanics of successful ironing, evidenced by my recent google search for "ironing hacks," is probably really sad, but I have an excuse--the laundry/dry cleaning around here is so far sucky and expensive--not that I ever sent my napkins out anyway. But I got tired of them being rumpled and grungy, and, and and...) Or the accomplishment could be larger in scale, like the day before, when I rewrote (again) my book review for a local magazine.
3. Learning or appreciating something new. Since we can't get the New York Times delivered here (my single least favorite aspect of where we now live--really) this often comes via Garrison Keillor (who I always thought I loathed--it's often good to be wrong) and his Writer's Almanac, to which I am completely addicted.
4. Peace at home and with myself. Feeling like I am in control of my life and treating myself and others with kindess and respect. For something so simple on its surface, this one's complex. No need to explain further, I suspect.
5. Cooking something wonderful for other people. (Remember this is a perfect day--this doesn't happen every day, though it does happen a lot, because I am me.)
6. Some time alone, whether indulgent or simply quiet and solitary. I tend to think I need this so much because I am an only child, but maybe we all need it--maybe in order to achieve number four, above?
There are probably more things, but these are the ones that came to me first. What would your perfect day include?