They say that, to figure out what you want to do for a living and where you want to live and what community of people would make you happiest, you need to envision Your Perfect Day. You need to sit down and flesh it out, from the moment you wake up (where? what time? what kind of light is in the room? what sounds do you hear? what do you smell? what furry creatures are sharing the bed with you? etc.) until you go to bed again (what time? what book did you read falling asleep? what’s the temperature in the room?)
I don’t know about y’all, but that sounds exhausting. It would take so long to list every single bit of a day that, by the time I’d gotten to suppertime (what kind of flatware? where do the salt and pepper shakers go? and what do they look like?), I’d have forgotten where it was that I thought I wanted to wake up. I do think about My Perfect Day once a year, though, on my birthday. That was yesterday, and once again I thought about how I wanted to spend my day. The truth is, I almost always spend my birthday working. Oh, a couple of times I’ve tried to do something else, but you know what? It’s never as much fun as work. Taking a trip to Houston to see the BodyWorlds exhibit wasn’t nearly as much fun as working my way through a pile of deadlines and tying up a bunch of loose ends. For me, work is what I love to do. Oh, sure, I like to do other stuff–I like to shop for thrifted clothes, I love to alter those clothes. I like to go dancing with my husband, play with our crazy cats (we’re talking down-on-the-floor, making-growly-noises (me) and turning somersaults (them)). But if I had to pick just one thing I could do every day for the rest of my life, it would be work.
I’m very, very lucky to have found work that’s fulfilling. I know that, for most people, work isn’t what does it. Most artists support themselves doing something they maybe don’t love quite as much, and the art-at-the-end-of-the-day is what does it. Even if you’ve figured out a way to do it full-time, you don’t really do it full time. That, of course, is a misnomer, since no one I’ve ever met gets to make their art all the time. No. There’s the art-making, but there’s also the marketing and selling, the shows and workshops, the writing and packing and shipping and ordering, and, and, and~~
Maybe, though, all these things make up your Perfect Day. Who knows? Some people really enjoy the marketing. Some people, like my husband, are pretty much happy doing anything that doesn’t involve 1) paperwork or 2) angry parents (he’s a retired teacher). To figure out what you’d like to do with the rest of your life, you need to play the game and script your Perfect Day. I give you permission to skip the part about the salt and pepper shakers. And any other parts that aren’t important to you.
For me, the things that are important in any Perfect Day, beyond the things we all want (waking up with people (husband, fur people) I love, eating food I don’t hate, not having Scary Weather–you know, those things) there would have to be meaningful work. Writing, interacting with creative people, making connections between people–putting people in touch with other people who can help them achieve their dreams. A perfect day would include blogging, some more formal writing, connecting with creative people through Facebook and Twitter, doing a phone interview with someone inspiring, figuring out a way to make some garment I own utterly fabulous.
What does it for you? What are the things you want to have in your days? Grab your notebook and a pen and start making a list. They say that’s what it takes to figure out how to make Your Perfect Day a reality–and for more than just one day a year. Good luck! We’d love to hear what you come up with~~
You can keep up with Ricë via her personal blog, as well, at Notes from the Voodoo Cafe.
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