Before you speak, ask yourself, is it kind, is it necessary, is it true, does it improve on the silence? -Sathya Sai Baba

Friday, October 5, 2012

My Ideal Day

This morning, I got up, like I always do, at seven o'clock. The whiskey that I'd had at rehearsal with my friend Ray last night had a little something to say about the hour, but I'd been quite moderate in my imbibing, so I told it to shut the hell up. I kissed my wife on her sleeping shoulder, tried to get out of bed without disturbing the cat (who had been awake for hours (im)patiently awaiting my rising), and put both feet on the floor.

After feeding said cat, I took a shower, shaved, combed my hair, threw on some clothes, watched In the Papers (for you non-New Yorkers, a local anchor on the New York news channel reads the major articles in the dozens of newspapers from around the area. It sounds stupid, but trust me, it's awesome), ate some breakfast, kissed my wife one more time and headed out into the day.

That's where everything changed.

Because instead of turning left, walking to the subway, riding the train into work (reading my current book), sitting at my desk, and muddling my way through the next eight hours at a job that I don't hate, but certainly don't love, I turned right, and started down Seventh Avenue, walking in the morning cool.

That's right, kids. I'm not going to my day job today.

But I'm keeping most of my routines. I did my morning writing, I drank my morning tea (chamomile, thank you. Caffeine makes me jittery, then depressed. I know, very rock and roll of me) and am now sitting, looking with some trepidation at the outline for the novel. I'm sitting at a desk, much like if I went into my day job, but now it's my desk. My work that I gotta get through.

This is my ideal day. Later, I'm going to the library (for research), swimming, doing yoga, writing some more and playing some music. If I had my way, every day of my life would be like this. I would work on the things I love. Most of my life may not be like this, but for one day, I am getting what I think I want.

The thing is, I've realized that a good chunk of my ideal day involves work. Working towards my goals, making something, interacting with people, physical activity. And sometimes, no matter what your job is, work is stressful. I've spent a very large chunk of my life avoiding anything that would disturb my equilibrium, avoiding work that might "stress me out." I've ignored huge problems in my life, and pretended nothing's wrong. I've acted like I was happy doing things that I wasn't, and thought I was happy when really I was just numbing myself out.

Well, here's a different way of doing it. I'm gonna keep my routine. I'm gonna do my work. I'm gonna act like the things that I want in my life are important enough to do them all day, even if it's only for one day. And maybe, if I can string more and more of these types of days together, I can make the kind of life I've always dreamed of. Not a life of escape, not escaping from the day to day world, but making the day-to-day world my kind of world. One that I made. Let's see how it goes.

What's your ideal day look like?

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