I wake up before dawn arrives to the sound of the surf splashing onto the beach. My eyes open to our large bedroom, smartly and sparsely decorated with bamboo furniture and white linen. Large palm-shaped fan blades whir softly overhead. Ahead of me I look through the open double-doors that lead directly to the sand. There’s no light in the room but for the ambient orange pre-dawn glow that is creeping over the horizon and through the doorway. I look at my wife, who is sleeping soundly next to me. I kiss her. I stand; I stretch. I walk to the doors and feel the chill of the morning air; the sunlight will vanquish the cool before long. I stare at the horizon and I pause a moment…then another, before I step off toward the water in bare feet. As the sand hardens near the edge of the water, I turn left and start jogging. It is a perfect morning—the start of a perfect day.
I reach the docks and wave at the fishermen that are preparing for the day: pulling nets, tying rope and loading coolers. I slow to a brisk walk as I move past and down the pier. I smile at my amazement at one fisherman’s ability to drink his coffee despite all the foul and competing odors that bloom on the boats. I reach the end of the pier and step up onto the final tie-down, as if to scare myself just enough to be thankful that I didn’t fall into the water. I turn around and start jogging again. It must be four miles back to the house—although I’ve never measured. I know I’m running harder today, but it feels nearly effortless.
I near the house with a tired excitement for the day ahead. It’s Tuesday, although the days of the week long ago lost any significance. It’s February, although the months of the year long ago lost any significance. I run into the ocean with my knees high, trying to make it farther into the sea than the day before. The saltwater is quickly over my head and my feet have lost the bottom. I turn and take slow strokes back toward shore, where my children and wife have finally woke and are cheering for me to come in. The water is cold, but invigorating.
Showers, when I take them, are quick and cold. This differs from the long, hot showers I forced into my mornings when I was still working. Those past showers symbolized my last respite before I begrudgingly marched to the office. At that time, holding onto the shower was akin to holding onto home—so I fervently did so. Now, a shower is but an interruption into what will surely prove to be a glorious day. The cold water makes my muscles clench and I marvel at the transformation my body has undergone over the past years. I am proud of how I look and feel. My body rewards my hard work with its quick and easy responses to my demands.
I cook breakfast and enjoy a lengthy morning conversation with the wife and kids. We talk about the upcoming day. Today is Tuesday, so mommy isn’t going to school today; she’s staying home with daddy. When the littlest one finishes eating, we race to get everything cleaned up as soon as possible. It’s a game we’ve formed over many months. We get on our bikes, and the air is hotter now. We ride, laugh, and talk—mostly laugh. When we arrive at school, everyone locks up their bikes and we kiss and hug each other before we separate for the next few hours. Mommy and Daddy bike back, still laughing.
We arrive at home and slip back into bed. Our feelings for each other seem to get stronger each day—it’s like we’re kids again, except we’re even happier now. I marvel at the lives she’s created. She marvels at the life I’ve created. After, we watch a documentary together, and enjoy fruit and fish for lunch. Then, the wife takes a nap while I check on the financial markets. My interest and passion for finances and business has strengthened over time, and I publish a short article about some thoughts I’m having that day.
School is over now, and the wife and I get back on our bikes and race each other. She wins…she always wins. We get two of the children and bring them over to the soccer field, where a third is about to start her match. We’re among the only ones in the stands as we cheer and yell for our team. Our team wins, and we can’t contain our excitement as we rush the field at the horn—nobody seems to mind in the seven thru eight-year-old division.
We hop on our bikes and celebrate with ice cream—ice cream before dinner is nice—before we head home. Dinner is a joyous affair, it is the men’s turn to cook tonight. We simmer eggplant, asparagus and red peppers in olive oil and mix them with our steak tips. Juice. Salad. Wine. It’s filling and delicious. We turn to homework, now. Although, there is not much to do tonight; we stay on top of it so it never piles up.
With homework done it’s time for movie night. Last week, the eldest baby picked what we’d watch. Tonight, the middle baby selects a movie that turns out to be wonderful. Humor, music, peril, triumph and life lessons in 80 minutes or less—in the way that only Disney can. The smallest has fallen asleep before the end. We wake her up to brush her teeth. Everyone is asleep after just seven minutes of prayers and stories.
The wife and I head to bed. We talk about everything we’d done that day, and start discussing our cruise coming up next week—three kids takes a lot of packing. We’re nervously excited. We turn on the Spanish music channel and dance across the room to three songs. A twirl, dip, and kiss, and I drop the wife in bed. She’s asleep after ten minutes of feet rubbing; she deserves it.
I get on the computer and write. I write to encourage others to see that another world exists. It exists just below the surface of the normal world most of us live in each day. This other world is otherworldly, in that we don’t work each day, we live each day. We value our lives by how much time we can spend together. How much we can laugh, learn and play with each other. Money has meaning, for certain, but it now exists only in the background. We did things earlier in our lives that allowed us this freedom to live in the other world. And so I write. I write so I can help bring you to your own perfect day.
I want you to imagine what your perfect day looks like. Try to be specific. What are the sights, the smells, the sounds? Who are you with? What are you doing? I promise that even if this fantastic day never comes, it will make you feel better to talk about it.
Now, compare this theoretical day with your current life. What’s wrong? What are the differences? Maybe you are with somebody you don’t truly want to be with. Maybe you’re living somewhere you don’t want to live. Maybe your physical appearance needs improvement. I don’t know, but you do.
This “perfect day” need not exist only in an imaginary realm—it can be real. I’ve seen it. It exists. It exists for you and it exists for me. Each of our ideas of what “perfect” means may be different, but there is a place, a life, that you are meant to be living. Before you can achieve it, though, you must see it in your mind. I shared with you my own perfect day, and I assure that I have much to do before it becomes real, but I believe I can get there.
Find your own perfect day, my friend. Once you do, work feverishly every day to make it your reality. I promise it can be done. There is no sense in waiting.