This year I’m taking part in “Bloganuary” – a series of writing prompts published throughout the month by Mindy Postoff. Today’s writing prompt is “What does your ideal day look like ?”.
My ideal day begins early – rolling out of bed, pulling on some running shorts, and heading straight out into the clear frosty air to run a few miles around town. I love running through town early in the morning and seeing the world come to life – with deliveries of flowers, food, and newspapers criss-crossing the pavements along my way.
On returning home I lean on the tree outside our house to stretch for a few minutes before heading inside for a shower, and clean clothes. Next comes the kettle, a cup of coffee, and a bowl of cereal while emptying the dishwasher. I ask Alexa to play Magic radio.
By now the children are getting up and stumbling through the kitchen with grumpy faces and crazy hair – quietly finding food, filling bags for college or school, and absent mindedly gazing at their phones.
Over the next hour they leave the house one by one. I find myself alone, and set about clearing up the aftermath – returning repeatedly to the bins outside the house with empty bottles, wrappers, boxes, and bags. Finally the kitchen and lounge are clear, and I retreat to the junk room – the place I will spend most of the day ahead reading emails, writing code, and sitting in conference calls.
The webcam on the laptop points towards the tidiest corner of the room. It’s still less tidy than anybody else’s carefully curated conference call locations, but is at least interesting – featuring a Star Wars poster, a scale model of the Saturn 5 rocket, and numerous books, boxes, and brick-a-brack.
Throughout the day I return to the kitchen for coffee. My immunity to caffeine seems to have grown in recent months. En-route I listen out for the washing machine – emptying it as it falls silent, hanging damp clothes to dry, and filling it again with the rapidly rotating wardrobe of our teenage daughters.
At lunchtime I pull on a coat, scarf and shoes and set off across town on-foot to the infant school where my other half works. She has forgotten to take any lunch. There is a garage along the way that sells sandwiches. The route to and from the school takes me through a cemetery. I read the headstones as I pass back and forth – wondering about the lives led by the various names.
Back at home the day slowly reverses itself – with work winding down, and the house slowly re-filling with teenagers, grown-ups, noise, and clutter. Televisions switch on throughout the house, streaming game shows, news reports, and pop music videos.
Dinnertime finds me washing up cooking pots while my other half runs back and forth across the kitchen. She’s the better cook – I’m the better washer-up. I fight a losing battle as pots, pans, plates, cutlery, and more rubbish assemble themselves across the kitchen. I shout to the kids to set the table and silence returns – moments later I am in the lounge, lining up place mats, cutlery, and glasses.
Finally the house slows down. We sit at the table for an hour, eat, drink, and tell the story of each other’s day. We hear about the never-ending drama of school and college friendships, and the various stresses of the workplace. Nobody ever talks about my work – we did once when I complained about being missed out, but it quickly became obvious that nobody wanted to hear about content management, source code, version control, or wireframes.
After another half an hour clearing the kitchen, the evening finally becomes my own. I fall back into the junk room, switch on the computer, and begin writing emails, instant messaging distant friends, and emptying my head into blog posts. I take to imaginary skies for an hour in a flight simulator with friends, and explore pretend exotic destinations together. A little later in the evening I find my other half (invariably in the lounge) and we binge-watch whichever show is being touted by friends on social media.
The day ends in bed, with a book propped on my chest – a few pages read since I last fell asleep reading it. The book is one of many I’ve been meaning to read for some time. I’m getting there. Slowly.
If you’re wondering why my “ideal day” sounds much like an ordinary day, that’s because an ordinary day is my ideal day. A day free of disaster, stress, argument or turmoil. A day where the world continues turning. A quiet day.
7 replies on “An Ideal Day”
[…] Jonathan 9:47 am on Jan 13, 2022 An Ideal Day […]
Ideal day is one free of stress…
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Just an ordinary day…perfect!
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I love the idea of a run first thing through the town to see everything coming to life, that sounds amazing
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This is such a lovely post. I can periodically find myself longing for excitement or adventure, but you’re writing has beautifully depicted a day that sounds very similar to my own (minus the source code, version control and wireframes!) and you’ve reminded me how nice the gentle flow of a day where nothing much happens but day to day life can be, thanks.
Before coming here, I was fantasizing about a vacation to New York, Philadelphia, and Washington DC, specifically to go to art museums. My BFF lives outside of Philly, and we would drive and laugh in her little Mini Cooper, and eat nice lunches and drink wine. That sounds like a pretty ideal day (well, week) too me.
Then there is a day spent out hiking (did you know that hiking and walking are the same thing?) with my family, especially if we are near the ocean.
There is, though, a real beauty about an ordinary day, one spent as one generally is, and the pleasures and satisfactions to be found there. I liked this post.
I wish I could edit my comment…I hate typos like ‘ideal day too me’ instead of ‘to me’. Just know that I DO know better, even if my fingers get confused sometimes.