I recently came across a little life-planning exercise called “A perfect day”. The task seemed pretty easy at first: If you could imagine a perfect day, what would it look like ? How exactly would you spend each hour of the day? As I started thinking about it a little deeper, I soon realized: It’s not easy at all. Of course, a couple of things came to my mind immediately. But how in the world do you decide what a perfect day looks like when there are billions of possibilities? Of course, by that I hit the purpose of the exercise right in the heart. Thinking about a perfect day demands you to think about your priorities in life, about your passions and – just simply put – about what you really want. And this can be a pretty hard task.
The first thought I had when thinking about a perfect day was: It should contain some writing. It’s something I’ve been doing for ages and I do so on a regular basis – in my job and in my free time. I wouldn’t do it if I didn’t love it. I’m also confident enough to think that I’ve developed some skill in it over time. So the next question was: What would I write about on a perfect day? I love telling stories about things I experience and observe – as you might have noticed. I have a thing for all the little stories that life writes and that a lot of people don’t seem to pay attention to in their busy lives. But would that suffice to make a perfect day? I saw myself sitting in an empty room, just me, my desk and my computer. And I realized: There needed to be more.
Then I tried to think back to any day in the past that I thought was perfect or at least close to that. On my way down Memory Lane I immediately came back to my time in Japan. My Mum once said to me when we were talking on the phone at that time: “You’ve never sounded happier!” And it’s true. I can whole-heartedly say that this was one of the happiest times of my life and I there aren’t many experiences that compare to it. But why was I so happy? I’d like to answer that with a little story (of course!):
One time I went on a solo trip to a little sea-side town. I was strolling through the streets, looking around, when I bumped into a little parade. People were carrying a beautiful float through the streets, chanting and shouting. I had seen parades like this before. They’re usually part of a religious festival. I wanted to find out where they were going, so I started to follow them. It didn’t take long until someone turned around and noticed me – a blonde, blue-eyed foreigner with her camera in hand. More and more people started to turn around to take a look at me. I hesitated for a moment. Then suddenly someone waved at me to come closer. I marched along with the parade for a while. And then something amazing happened. I was asked if I wanted to help carry the float! And hell, I did. The float was pretty heavy even though there were a lot of strong men carrying it. It kept bumping on my shoulder as I had difficulty walking in the right rhythm and it left a huge bruise. But it didn’t matter. I’ve never felt more alive and my heart was overflowing with emotions I can’t even put in words. So coming back to the perfect day: It would have to contain some travelling or any other way of making new cultural experiences and interacting with people that are different from me.
And there was a third thing that came to my mind while thinking about a perfect day: Music! It has always been an important part of my life, but I’ve just recently discovered how happy it actually makes me. There are songs that touch something deep inside of me and singing along to them is an incredibly freeing process and, by the way, a great way to let off some steam. I’ve been quite passionate about making music myself lately and I’ve even started to create some stuff of my own. Even though I’m just at the beginning and some people might think I’m too old to get started, I will definitely keep on exploring this further. As long as it is fun, I won’t stop.
So here I am with a vague impression of what a perfect day would look like. While the result isn’t quite satisfying, I’ve realized something. The reason I couldn’t name the one big thing I want to follow for the rest of my life is probably because my real passion isn’t that obvious. It’s to challenge myself over and over again. To put myself into unknown situations and to see where they will take me. I hope it will lead me to a lot of great experiences and who knows – maybe one day I will be a guitar-playing travel writer.
So what about you? What would a perfect day in your life look like?