Life, with sparkles

Today has been a pretty much perfect day. No, I didn’t win the lottery, the boyfriend didn’t come to visit, I didn’t accomplish any major goals or finish any major projects. In fact, it was a perfectly normal day–for my ideal self.

More on my ideal self: this actually started as a bit of a joke–a good friend and I realized that, although we were always making plans to do fabulous, page-out-of-a-magazine things, we almost never actually got around to doing them. Fun, easy things: going to the farmer’s market on Saturday morning instead of sleeping until noon, having a picnic in the park instead of meeting for a matinee movie…nothing that required a great deal of money or booking a flight to Tuscany, just slightly out of the ordinary things. Memorable things. So we made all these plans, but these spectacular plans usually remained plans. (It is hard to get out of bed on Saturday!) Well, my ideal self is the one who does all of these things. Who wears a sundress instead of jeans and a wrinkled t-shirt to the grocery. Who takes her homework to the park downtown and does it at a bench by the river instead of sacked out on her couch. Who gets up and goes to the farmer’s market on the weekend (and probably carries home a fabulous bouquet and a loaf of french bread in her bicycle basket.)

The ideal life is just life, my life, with the sparkles. Taking a few more minutes to make the breakfast plate pretty–even though only I will see it. (Of course, as I am writing this I’m realizing that for the first time in quite a while I’m well rested. That may, actually, be essential to the ‘sparkles’…and it is so very difficult to stay well-rested. School and work seem to conflict with sleep as well as with everything else. Such is life.)

Today was just such a day. An ideal day. I didn’t have class until noon, but I got up early and spent a few hours working on research at the kitchen table with coffee and cookies. It just set a wonderful tone for the day. Then class and more homework and playing with the dog and making dinner… everything seemed deliberate and purposeful and, if not strictly fun, then necessary and substantial, packed with images of home-made, wholesome bread and strong, floury arms kneading mounds of dough in the sunshine. I wish I could access that feeling- that image- more often. I usually feel so rushed and frantic, running to the car with spilling cups of coffee, exhausted microwaving of left-overs or mindless consumption of ramen… Not particularly sure of the method- or even the possibility- of replicating the (I hesitate to use the word ‘joy’, it is so fraught with religious tones in my mind… but here goes) absolute joy of today.

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