Most of us think if we don’t get a great night’s sleep we cannot have a great day. I’ve learned to think the other way: If I don’t have a great day, I won’t have a great night’s sleep. So the question I will focus on in this post works with the elements of a perfect day.
Benjamin Franklin began each day with a question to himself, “What good shall I do this day?” and ended it reflecting on, “What good did I do to-day?”
There are outer activities and inner aspects to the perfect day. Outer has to do with my positive impact on others, on my environment, on myself. Inner has to do with feelings of meaning and goodness.
I will share what works for me.
The Perfect Outer Day
Around my work…I have served. I have created. I have produced. I have earned.
Around my relationships…I have connected. I have listened in. I have spoken out. I have laughed/cried.
Around my home…I have not made a mess or added to the mess. I have maintained order and made beauty.
Around my body…I have moved. I have eaten well.
Around my senses…I have enjoyed my perceptions. I have achieved a balance between stimulating and soothing myself particularly in regard to what I have seen, heard, and tasted.
Around my responsibilities…I have tended to my money, my laundry, my agreements.
The Perfect Inner Day
I have been surprised.
I have remained calm.
I have felt joy.
I have forgiven.
I have noticed and been grateful.
I have bounced back.
I have leapt forward.
I have been generous.
I have been kind.
I have evolved.
The lists could go on but part of the perfect day is “enough” which is to say “incomplete.” So perfect is not so perfect. If you know grammar you know I have used the present perfect tense of the verbs in my list.
When I turn out my light and curl up under my covers, if I have achieved any three of my outer “perfections” and any three of my inner ones, I feel at peace with myself. I do not ruminate on the lists as the lists do not dominate my life as “must’s” or “should’s”.
These present perfect days let my soul feel I have lived. I can lie in bed and let my soul integrate my day. However, there is also my biology and I have inherited a biology that struggles with sleep. If my environment changes even in a small way…a sound, a temperature fluctuation, I get a rush of excitatory neurohormones and I wake up and usually stay awake for a couple of hours before getting back to sleep. But my soul still rests well, if I have had a perfect day though my body may feel a lack of biological rest.
I look more for a perfect day than a perfect night.
What makes a perfect day for you? Please share in the comments.
If you have any questions about my list or about sleeping, email me.