Redefining perfect

It’s been a nearly perfect day. But it didn’t start out that way.

I woke up angry at things too numerous to mention. My dad used to refer to it as “getting up on the wrong side of the bed” which always confused me because I could never imagine mattress makers purposely building right and wrong sides into their wares. Regardless, one’s bed-exiting strategy should be chosen with care.

As I lay there contemplating the day ahead, I decided to confront the belief that I needed to be unhappy, mad or upset. If I wanted a better outlook, I needed a better “inlook” (I suppose that could be a word). I realized there was no good reason to begin a day with thoughts of darkness and doubt. The here and now (see the previous post) was the only place I needed to be.

So, I exited the bed from the same side I got into it the night before: the right side.

I was to have lunch with a friend at 1:00 pm but, due to a schedule change, my friend wasn’t able to leave work until 2:00 pm which left me about an hour to “kill”—as they say. I’m not sure why anyone would want to kill an hour because, as they go, hours are relatively innocent and not deserving of such sentences. So, I went to a favorite store to shop. After returning to my friend’s place we sat outside eating, talking, laughing and enjoying the beautiful fall temperatures and bright sun.

Soon, the winter cold will seal all of us inside our long pants and jackets and we’ll look back on the beauty of autumn with longing. If we’re true to form, our complaints about summer’s heat and humidity will change to complaints about winter’s cold and rain, but none of those complaints will change a thing. We’ll invest our time and effort into something that we don’t control and miss that which we do—the way we think about those things supposedly outside ourselves.

Perhaps even the idea of a “perfect day” misses the point. Perfect is largely in the eye of the beholder. Maybe there’s really no set standard for bad, not-so-bad, nearly perfect and perfect. Maybe it’s more how we mine the moments to find the jewels they offer.

An author of a newly published book described her writing technique and how, with computers, it is easy to delete large passages of text by hitting a single key. She said that, when writing on a typewriter or with pen and paper, eliminating words was much more difficult. This made me wonder what I might remove from my life (so far) if I had the power of the delete key.

But then I had a different thought: What if we had the power of the insert key to add something to our lives? What would it be?

For me, the answer would be “more time to love.”

Well, that’s not as difficult as it might seem.

As I reflect on it, today was more perfect than I could have imagined.

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