I am not a big fan of the song ‘Perfect Day’. It reminds me of a cheesy compilation album of love songs I was bought many years ago. The most awful part was that the boy in question hadn’t even picked the CD himself; it was quite obvious that his mum had picked it, hence rendering it a cop-out rather than a sweet but poorly chosen gift.
Despite my aversion to the song, though, I love the sentiment behind it. I cannot imagine anything more lovely than someone saying ‘This has been an amazing day & I am really glad we spent it together; it wouldn’t have been so amazing without you’. It’s a beautiful idea.
How do we get to our own ‘perfect day’? One of the very first ‘exercises’ that I undertook when I began this quest for ‘a life of my own’ was linked to this very concept of the perfect day. The task was suggested by the now discredited Raj Persuad. This probably indicates how desperate I was at that point for some kind of guidance – thrashing around for the nearest vaguely self-help title, I ended up with a book by the psychologist off Richard and Judy’s This Morning TV show. You had to describe your absolute dream day- money, the laws of nature & realism being no object – & you were not to turn the page until the task was completed Pen in hand, I drew up my day. Satisfied with my response, I turned the page. And lo, the example given was almost incomprehensible to me. The man in the book dreamt of Caribbeanen islands, playing football for his country in the World Cup, a private concert with the Spice Girls (the latter wish probably allowing accurate dating of the book’s publication!)… and so on. My list largely comprised of seeing family & friends, with my favourite foods providing an organising feature of such meetings. Oh no! I thought. I am boring & lacking in ambition. Then I thought again. Why was I condemning my own choices? I had felt so happy & proud of them until I had compared them to this (probably fictious) example. It also struck me that maybe my choices had the distinct advantage of being entirely achievable; the man may be able to holiday in the Caribbeanen, but he was unlikely to play for his country or have a private concert with the Spice Girls – & it’s even less likely for all 3 events to take place on one day.
On Friday night, someone in the pub was singing ‘Perfect Day’. I joined in with a particularly bad Heather Small impersonation. It reminded me of the ‘perfect day’ idea again. And now, on Sunday night, it strikes me that my weekend has been comprised of two perfect days according to my own Dr Persuad inspired criteria. The weekend has been fairly uneventful. No grand gestures or dramatic incidents; no expensive shopping trips or hardcore nights out. What there has been is a lot of time sitting in the garden. A lot of time pottering around, doing the things I love (some of which I could never have imagined at the time that the original perfect day list was drawn up). A lot of time seeing friends & family, the people I love. And it has felt perfect. I have felt happy & contented & serene & calm. No stress; no rushing about. Everything has just worked out, fitting together nicely without any elaborate advanced planning. To the Spice Girl-loving, wannabe-international footballer holidaying in the Carribeanen it would probably seem dull. But for me, it’s perfect. Although that sentiment probably wouldn’t really work that well in a song: ‘It’s such a perfect day, I’m glad I spent it with me’ doesn’t quite have the same ring to it.