There was nothing out of the ordinary about yesterday. Mondays often start with a bit of grumping as we switch gears back into our workweek, but that wasn’t the case. And it wasn’t that I was excited about my work, since my first task of the day was to be on hold with my bank. While it started off sunny, by noon the sky was dropping big flakes of slushy snow and I had to turn on the lights.
I didn’t do anything special either. I worked all day on a portrait. I went to the post office and the fish store. In the evening I ran to the grocery store. In other words, it was utterly unmemorable. Nothing of note happened.
And yet I retired thinking, “today was a perfect day. Today might have been the most perfect day of my life.”
There are many reasons we don’t pursue our dreams. They represent a lot of work and change. The human mind abhors the unknown. But one of the critical problems is that we fear that reality will grind our dreams into disappointment. As long as they’re in the abstract, they’re still there to comfort us when life becomes unbearable.
“Keep your head down, do your job, take joy where you can,” has been the guiding principle of most of human existence. I’m not faulting it. Humility and contentment are, in fact, a recipe for happiness. It’s where I lived my whole adult life.
But here I am in the exactly-right home and studio, doing the work I love to do, spending time with the person I want to be with. Part of my bubbling joy is that I finally have all my ducks in a row.
Of course there are details that are not, strictly speaking, perfect. We’re not really unpacked. I need to install a utility sink and color-corrected lights. The mudroom needs insulating. The closest Wegmans is outside of Boston. And my kids are too far away.
But I can find my postal scale and my soap. I can eke out my paintings day-by-day without worrying overmuch about the details. I can have lunch with my husband. These are all priceless things.