A Perfect Day

     This exercise suggested by a friend/mentor would have been interesting begun more than 30 years ago and rewritten every five years without reviewing previous renditions.  In the recesses of memory there have been several perfect days in my life.  One wonders though whether those fleeting synapse impressions are accurate.  That's a different exploration as we consider what it might be like were that day to be tomorrow. It's not chronological, but activities that may vary and accepting the flow of what comes has become an important part of my personal definitions of happiness and success.


Early
    The day would begin without an alarm's noise before sunrise.  The exercise of grinding the coffee beans and the wavering odor of a  fresh coffee pot hints at hope. Waking daily to a mental song from history (another day's writing), a brief analysis ensues accepting or rejecting relevance.  The first hours are spent in reading and writing.  Depending on the day that may be either. Finding what is relevant, provides value, creates pause of reflection or a desire for more data, and is worth sharing with whomever crosses the path whether planned or opportunistic. Within the knowledge growth there must be reflections out the window gazing upon the sky, the trees, water or garden and the splendor that is the natural world.  Sometimes it involves walks away from technology and books.

Menial Labor
   This is not a derogatory term.  Whether doing laundry or dishes, tending to the gardens or lawn, or picking up/fixing something around the properties I find doing such work stress relieving while mentally explorative. I don't disagree with those who suggest fully focusing on the activity at hand, but running thoughts and words through mental processing while doing the dishes doesn't lead me to
doing inferior work.  It leads to satisfaction of task completion and different perspectives away from computer screens and texts.  It also reminds me that regardless of levels of success or assets, there are no tasks beneath my humanity and I am not more significant or better than those who currently earn their livings doing such necessary work.


Visionary Listening
     Others might describe what this means to me as problem solving.  I've long ago learned that I've been given a gift of seeing pathways, opportunities, and/or potential solutions as others come to me in crisis, or at minimum wandering and seeking hope. Through many human, organization and community development experiences I've also learned not to just tell others what that answer may be.  But to ask more questions and actively listen, engaging in ways that allows them to see a new hope and know they have the ability to reach it. Along those discussions the vision may change as well, but the ability so see collaborative answers is what matters, not my initial vision.

Serving and cooking
    My life is a service to others in nearly every aspect whether praying, financial services, teaching, tutoring, mentoring, cleaning or yes, cooking.  I love preparing meals for others even if that's just my wife and I.  The opportunity to prepare and create moments of connection with and for others is as the preferable function for someone with an addictive personality. My preferred method of serving is teaching, but not from lecturing off PowerPoints.  I seek ongoing levels of engagement with increased questioning of what is, compared to what might be.


Boundary Pushing and Accepting Advice
    I have over many years from numerous mentors become better at when I choose to push boundaries beyond what "is" but I am driven to never accept the current as the best possibility for those I'm engaged with.  It it were, I wouldn't be there in the first place. At the same time understanding that I will push other individuals and teams outside of their comfort zones (where growth occurs) I look for and need guides, mentally, physically and spiritual who help do that to me.

Family
    That term is a very broad definition for me and while extending across continents depending on where those members may be primarily focuses on my wife and three sons.  My wife in particular.  As a confessed workaholic who feels  a driving sense to be productive continually I choose to be productive developing relationship, trust, hope and dreams with those for whom I would sacrifice anything (and often have).  As a mentor once said to me (probably from a book) "As father's and husband's we're willing to die for our families, but are we willing to live for them?".

Gratitude and Wonder

    When visible I love starring at the night skies through naked eyes in awe at the creation we exist in.  I can find that same feeling in the spider web that appears in the morning not visible the previous night, watching the squirrels cavort through the garden or the rabbits that dart through our neighborhood.  The beauty of the landscapes when I'm driving between destinations, the cloud formations, all enhanced by the gift of music.  My physical body, mind and spirit become weak when I don't take time to consciously see in the present that which is naturally occurring.  If I can wake and breath in the morning, I know it's going to be a tremendous day regardless of what occurs.

    This may not be specific enough for the mentor who will provide feedback in which case I'll reconsider specificity. Given the level of existing meetings, appointments, and numerous emails and phone calls that will be added into any given day I prefer the broader descriptive.  A perfect day put neatly into an excel spreadsheet leads to higher stress or missed opportunities because after all, life just happens regardless of planning. Adaptability, flexibility and the grace to be aware rather than boxed is where innovation and hope grow.  That's just my opinion though.  I could be wrong.

    America puts it well for me.  "Sitting by the fireside, with a book in your hand.  Two lazy dogs sit, watching your man.  Three roses where bought with you in mind.  I've got to stop and see what I'm on about . . . ."  That would be, and often is the end to a perfect day because every day is perfect as it exists.  I'm the one who's imperfect.

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