The Perfect Day

self improvement


Could we change our attitude, we should not only see life differently, but life itself would come to be different. Life would undergo a change of appearance because we ourselves had undergone a change in attitude.
~Katherine Mansfield

Blue skies, sun shining, a few white clouds drifting through the sky for dramatic effect. The exercise routine that you promised yourself you would do was completed at the crack of dawn, leaving you showered, refreshed and dressed to meet whatever the day would bring.

Your home was organized and spotless because everything on your TO DO list had been completed, checked off and wiped away. A gourmet dinner has been prepared to everyones’ liking and does not interfere with anyone’s special eating needs, which, by the way, you followed TO THE LETTER, all day long AND oh by the way, when you woke up this morning your weight on the scale readjusted itself to your ideal weight.

With all of your work complete, you spent fun quality time with your family and friends and still had enough relaxing down time to fit in all of things that you wanted to enjoy especially for you. Your check book is in the black, your savings account has a big nest egg in it and there is still money left over for a vacation. As you drift off to sleep, in your comfortable bed you find yourself thinking….BY God, its been A PERFECT DAY!!!

UH HUH…When is that going to happen? Yep. I can hear you now. Come on, you know the answer…

When Pigs Fly…That’s when.

Yet we wait for it. Being the creatures of eternal hope and the internal children of our hearts, we measure each day against our own personal idealized dreams of THE PERFECT DAY.

We have conversations with each other that go something like this.

“Hi honey, how was your day?”

“Oh not too bad.” Shoulders sag, “It wasn’t perfect, it could of been better” And then what follows is a litany of everything that didn’t measure up against the imaginary PERFECT DAY.

If our partner or friend has a sunny disposition, they will help us to look on the bright side by picking out something on the list of the PERFECT DAY that did happen and say” Well cheer up, at least THAT happened, better luck tomorrow” which translated means “good luck tomorrow on getting your PERFECT DAY to happen.”

For most of us, this is an unconscious habitual matter not really taken out and examined. Yet the PERFECT DAY syndrome hovers under the surface, causing us heartache and negative feelings of low self esteem and unworthiness.

“I should have gotten more done than I did, I’m just no good..” “I should weigh less than I do, I’m just too lazy.”  “If my house were perfect I would have people over and then I would have friends” “If I had more time, then I would start exercising, there’s just no point” ‘I got four things done today, but I’m not happy with myself because I ate a bite of a donut. Never mind that I got a raise. That doesn’t count.”

The PERFECT DAY can infect us in a couple of different ways.

“The first one is the “I can’t do anything yet because I’m waiting for the perfectly right time and day to start.” Dieters are especially prone to this one. For some reason we think the perfect day is going to start on a Monday, but when Monday comes around, surprisingly, it is flawed. So we wait for the next one to come round the bend and that one has some issue too. The bad news is (and folks, on this I speak from very painful experience) Every day has a problem big enough to derail healthy eating or your new plan. NO PERFECT DAY IS COMING. Start now. Right now. You have to want it bad enough to eat healthy right or work your new dream right through Christmas and your very own birthday too. Or you just don’t want it bad enough yet. When you want it that bad…nothing in the world will stop you from being a success. I promise.

The second one is the camp of the  perfectionist syndrome. Maybe they didn’t do everything perfect on their list. There were things left over. So instead of celebrating and rejoicing for the things that went right, they are going to stew and bubble over what didn’t get done. Or the way that someone else interacted with them that wasn’t how they IMAGINED it would go. So they replay it in their head as if by doing so they can magically change the way the day went. Now, not only wasn’t it a perfect day, but they muck up the night as well. Better luck tomorrow. But it won’t be, because they will still be measuring it against that same elusive stick of the PERFECT DAY.

What can we do about it? Thankfully, there is a lot to do. We don’t have to be a victim to the PERFECT DAY.

That will be covered in part 2 so be here on Monday. Here is a hint to get you through the weekend. Recognizing you are doing it is the first big step. Give yourself some grace. Do the best you can and celebrate your victories. More on Monday. 🙂

Do you have a perfect day vision? Have you found it derailing you and actually causing to feel bad about yourself and getting discouraged? Have you found ways to improve?


9 thoughts on “The Perfect Day

  1. You just keep on hitting it on the head for me, don’t you!?!? Well I’ve had a sort of break through since I talked to you last! I CAN, I WILL, I BELIEVE! Thanks, you ROCK!

  2. Hi Wendi,

    My perfect day is when I look at my to do list and don’t do anything on it. Instead I spend quality time with family and/or friends, be lazy, sleep in, snack instead of cook, and at the end of the day, lay my head down and have a peaceful nights rest, knowing everything I didn’t get done will be waiting for another time. What was on the to do list was really not THAT important.

  3. Barbara,

    I think that is wonderful that you have beat the guilties. That is why you are one of the light torches. Pass that on! So many people just aren’t there yet. They would crawl into bed after a day like that and give themselves a mental flogging.
    Yeah for you Barbara, I’m there with you, but it took a VERY long time to get there. 🙂

  4. Wendi, this was a problem for me until I learned to embrace imperfection because no one ever promised that life would be perfect. It is gloriously flawed and in those flaws lies the true joy. If everything were perfect we would have nothing to work for, nothing to hope for and there would no need of dreams. My life is blissfully far from perfect and I take joy in being a work in progress.

  5. I fall in the number 2 category! And I have a TON of excuses for why I’m not achieving my idea day: my office is too dark, it’ not painted the right Colin, something must be screwy with the fung shui, the work isn’t right or interesting, my chair is too long, my desk is too high, my computer sucks, my dog always interrupts me, I have too many obligations during the day, now that I’m blogging I feel responsible for posting daily, and commenting on blogs I like, and answering any of their comments right away (it’s a full-time job, yo!), my friends and telemarketers don’t respect my time, I’m not eating properly, ad nauseum. I just keep looking for reasons. I’m disappointed in myself every day. But what if I stopped dwelling on all those reasons, and approached work with a different attitude? What if before I sat at my desk I envisioned having a good productive day? What if I sat at my desk and said, I’m grateful for this job today, and I’m excited about getting it done, and done well. Today is going to be a day of focus… and Etc. Would the day drag as much? Would I be as distracted? I’ve honestly tried this method before and failed. Several times. I still spend all my time distracted from the job at hand. But part of me believes that I must not have believed in the first place in my ideal day.

  6. Holy moly, look at the mistakes in my post! “Achieving my idea…it’…painted the right Colin!? I meant colour, of course.

    I was up far too late last night…I’m barely conscious and it’s 10:12!

  7. hmmm, all that said above, I think those reasons are still valid and should also be addressed. It IS hard to work at a desk when it’s too high and the chair is too low. (Not too LONG, as I said.) SHEESH.

  8. I saw your comment on Amy’s site.and decided to pay you a visit.we have something in common,I’m a former realtor my self.

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