I came across an exercise that may be of some comfort to some of us. The exercise is to think about what would make a Perfect Enough Day – an OK day. It resonated with me because a kind friend asked if I could help her record Lou Reed’s “Perfect Day” – rewritten to as a surprise to celebrate someone a lot of people think well of. We all gathered in a church we’d ‘borrowed’ for the day – on a spectacularly wet Saturday a week ago December. Whilst the weather was anything but ‘Perfect’ – the experience was a joyous one.
One thing I have learned through this is the simplicity of Lou Reed’s original “Perfect Day”. Nothing is dramatic. Feeding animals in the zoo (yes, a luxury at the moment but normally possible – I went to Marwell Zoo last week and it was magical.) Later, a movie too... Netflix would do for me. I might choose a coffee in the park rather than Lou’s Sangria – yet the principle is the same. His key theme, though, is, “I’m glad I spent it with you.”
We’re going to pull it back even from these lofty ideals and get a clear idea of the list of things that would have to be true to answer this one question: “It would be a good enough day if…” The purpose of this is to get clear on what is ‘enough’ for us, and to have ‘enough’ a lot more frequently!
Run it from the beginning.
And, if you’ll find it useful for me to lead with my list, read on!
Good coffee (Taylors of Harrogate, Rich Italian)
Good shower – Lady Penelope’s is the best I know of
Good music – to set the energy for the next hour or so
Sourdough bread toast with Marmite and Organic Peanut Butter
Go for a walk of 5000 steps – ideally near trees
…nothing hard, is there? All are choices I can currently make.
At the moment I feel a need to have an output to the day – which for me is a finished piece of video editing, or a podcast, or a blog or other piece of writing.
And I need at least one sparkly human interaction (usually available for free at my local Tesco Express!)
I finish the day, at the moment, with the utterly charming Moomintroll books… and to my delight, writing this, I’ve literally just discovered I know only three of the nine! Christmas is coming!
The exciting “Aha!” for me is that ALL of the above is replicable each day… and that’s enough for me. Contentment.
Let’s finish with three refinements. Firstly, what would help your ‘Good Enough Day’ if you were able to stop doing it. I missed my Zoom networking meeting last week, and I felt enormously free. I’d like to stop networking.
Secondly, what would help your ‘Good Enough Day’ if you continued doing it? It’s the 5000 steps for me because that’s the first to be dropped!
Thirdly, what would help your ‘Good Enough Day’ if you started adding it? That’d be human interaction because I’m ready to go into my cave, alone. I have to think, “Of whom could I say, “I’m glad I spent time with you”?”
A Moodscope member.