When you hear someone say they had a perfect day, what does that mean to you? We have this stack of days, one to the next, before it ends someday. What makes a few of them perfect, while the rest fall slightly short?
Let’s start with the obvious: Waking up this morning, the day is already off to a great start. If you celebrate that moment the rest of your day may ebb and flow, but starting from a better place you set the tone for what follows. Carpe diem begins with celebrating the gift of life. If you’re bored with life or indifferent to the potential of each moment you’ll never have a perfect day. Each will fall short in some way because your mind isn’t open to the joy of living.
Perfect requires stacking the moments in a day with just enough beauty and sparkle to reflect back at you, leaving an afterglow in your last moments awake as your cheek feels the cool softness of your favorite pillow. Perfect ought to include certain elements mixed in an elixir: A dash of wonder, moments of connection, the realization of experience, breathless celebration and sensory perception. You drink up this elixir, feel it soak through your pores and course through your veins, and feel high on life.
We all have moments of perfection in our lives, but to ask for a full day of it seems almost too much. More likely, we forget the down moments in a day. Pushing moments of discomfort or awkwardness or frustration down in our minds for the glow of the rest of the day. And sure, maybe there’s really no such thing as a perfect day at all, but we can surely reach for it.
As I began my day, I wondered, how can I make this one perfect? I may not reach it, but knowing the recipe you can get pretty close. Does seeking perfection make it artificial, or deliberate? You only find what you look for. There is no perfection, but there is magic in each moment. Often hiding in plain sight.
And so I seek connection with each of my fellow life passengers that I stumble across, and keep my eye out for new experiences as big as a new summit and as small as watching leaves stir from a hummingbird’s wings, and tickle my senses with a new song on the radio or the scent of garden tomatoes growing on a summer day. These moments of aliveness, stacked together, are where perfection lies. It’s not the day at all, but the moments stacked together. For what is life but that?