As a self-administered personal development tool, the “ideal day” exercise is useless unless shared with others, if only for the accountability. This visualization tool…well, it’s something I’ve done before, but as I leave behind a highly relaxing and enjoyable weekend to return to a 9 to 5 routine that has turned out to be far more stressful than I thought I could tolerate, I need it. I need it to remind myself of the big picture that I set out to make reality.
I’m amazed at how, only two months into the return to the full-time, I’ve managed to lose sight of my greater ambitions on a day-to-day basis. This past week especially found my stress levels at the highest they’ve been in a long while, but it was enough to shake me out of the old hypnosis. No matter who I work for, I will perform as excellently as I can during regular work hours. But when I’m home, I need to be mentally and physically able to work on my own stuff. That didn’t happen last week. We’ll see how this week goes.
This has all inspired a new affirmation;
EVERYTHING CURRENTLY IN MY LIFE THAT ISN’T MY DREAM MUST SUPPORT MY DREAM, OR IT HAS TO GO.
I digress. What does my ideal day look like?
I wake up in my own bed in my own place. I have a spacious king sized bed in a spacious bachelor’s loft complete with a skylight about fifteen overhead, approachable only by birds and the most determined of peeping Toms.
(Ideally, I’m waking up with a beautiful woman next to me, but I’ll aim to keep this one PG-rated, so let’s assume she slept at her own place that night).
My loft is clean, secure, and all mine, small enough to be comfortable for two, but luxurious for one. It’s spacious enough that I do indeed feel a sense of open space when sitting in my livingroom, but small enough that cleaning is not a problem.
The loft overlooks a prominent Hamilton neighbourhood central to where most of my friends live, likely James North or Locke Street.
I shower in a custom-made bathroom, one of those ones that’s mostly shower and glass doors and that has a window to the sunlight outside. I change into casual clothes, nothing special, jeans and T shirt, my usual repertoire. It’s Sunday today, and it’s in the summertime. That means bumming around town anyway.
I grab my keys, grab my journal and pen, slip on my sandals, and leave the loft, locking the door behind me. This is my place, paid for by my book sales.
I head down the stairs and flinch as I step out into the blinding summer sun. The streets are bright with a steady flow of pedestrians. I see a few neighbours and casual associates: they wave to me, I wave back and keep going on my way. There’s a bakery and cafe down the street that serves the best coffee and croissant I’ve ever had. I still cook and prepare food for fun and when I have company, but my fridge in the loft has been empty for a week now. I’ve accumulated so much money that I can afford to buy all my meals without flinching.
I find the cafe, join the line and order my breakfast, small-talking the clerk who knows me as a regular. I dress my coffee and sit down outside, adjusting my shades before I bite into the freshly-made croissant, people-watching as I go. When I’m finished, I start doing my morning pages, not stopping until I’ve written out all three pages that the exercise demands.
I sit and people watch for a while, then stand up and head back to my place to grab my car, a brand-new Elantra. It’s not the most prestigious car I could have picked, but it’s the same model I drove years ago when I took my very first author’s trip to California, driving from San Francisco to Carmel-by-the-Sea to Los Angeles all along the Pacific Coast. The memory carries the vibration of the kind of life I could lead if I just kept working at it. Now I’m leading that life. Today, I’m heading to the waterfront in Burlington to spend the day reading, writing, and enjoying the weather by the water.
I call my girlfriend on the hands-free. I’ve planned a romantic dinner at Spencer’s on the Waterfront, followed by a walk along the boardwalk and a special surprise. She’s looking forward to it, and goes back to her own family visit. We’ve been together now for a few months with strong feelings for each other. It may last, it may not, but neither of us takes anything for granted.
I drive down the highway, finding myself in downtown Burlington about twenty minutes later. I take out my journal, walk past the affluent neighbourhood shops and sun-warmed residents, settle down on a patio chair in front of the intersection, and write some scenes for my current manuscript. I hand-write because I’m in no hurry to get it done, and handwriting brings me a greater satisfaction than typing at this point, brings about superior ideas and word combinations. I lose myself in my story, writing for hours and hours and hours, feeling the practiced flow of inspiration running through me.
As dinner time approaches, I realize I have to change. Fortunately, I’ve carried a spare golf shirt in my trunk so I can meet the dress code of the restaurant. As the sun starts to turn to an orange amber, I walk over to Pepperwood where I meet my girlfirend. She’s wearing a beautiful sundress that leaves her shoulders bare where they aren’t covered by her gorgeous red hair. We sit and enjoy a fantastic meal with great wine that makes me delightfully tipsy.
Afterwards, she and I walk hand in hand on the boardwalk at Spencer Smith Park, taking in the sight of the water in the dimming horizon, exchanging little flirty jokes as we walk, never letting go of each other’s hands. As we reach the end of the Brant Street Pier, we climb to the lookout just in time to catch the last beam of sunlight. As we do, I tell her my surprise: I’ve booked us on a trip for the winter months, moving from Los Angeles to Hawaii, Australia, Thailand, Vietnam, and back again. She’s absolutely stunned…and then grabs me in a tight embrace because these are places she’s always wanted to go as well.
We head back to my car, drive back to my apartment, and…..well, as I said, keeping this PG rated.
I’m able to do all thanks to my success as an author. While the day strikes me as perfect as I re-read what I just wrote, the life itself is not perfect. It has a whole new set of challenges, but it is a vast improvement over what I have right now. That day is the culmination of all the heartache and heartbreak, all the anxious moments and days, the time slogged away working for someone else while I worked hard for my own dream: everything.
I just have to believe it in…and keep hustling until I get it.