I’ve finally returned to thinking about the future again, after my month (or so) of chaos and stress. I’m not at the point of making any plans yet, since I’m still letting myself finish recovering from all that stress, but I have begun to imagine how different scenarios might play out. It’s the same sort of exercise that you do whenever you talk about a dream house, an ideal occupation, or a fantastical life. There is little focus on the specifics or the likelihood of that dream coming to fruition as you instead just spend the time imagining what would be the most fun or pleasant way for things to be. Dream houses have secret tunnels, hidden doors, hedge mazes, and oddities like towers or lighthouses or live-in garden hermits. Dream occupations hopefully focus on things you find fulfilling rather than the odd power fantasies I always hear from people who’ve bought in to capitalism. Fantastical lives are either incredibly vague things when they’re “realistic,” especially these days when an ideal life is stuff like “not sad all the time” or “I don’t have to worry about money while living modestly” and so on, or they’re hyper specific as you imagine yourself living in the fantasy or sci-fi or alternate world of your choosing. Instead of focusing on any of those, though, I’ve been imaging what my ideal day would be.
Now, an ideal day feels a little bit more achievable than an ideal occupation, dream house, or fantastical life because it is usually made up of real things I’ve experienced, just stitched together in a way I rarely have the luxury, means, or spoons to do in my daily life. That way, you can also daydream about how it’ll feel to actually experience it or what you’d need to do in order to make it happen. I mean, I still don’t expect that I’ll be able to make it happen any time soon, but basing it in reality means I can still feel hope that I someday might as I fight against the capitalistic society I was born into.
My ideal day starts with me in bed at about half-past ten the night before. That way, I’d be asleep by eleven so I could get a proper eight hours of sleep by the time my alarm goes off at seven the following morning. Maybe I’ve woken up before my alarm goes, or maybe I’ve slept without issue until the gentle tones of Theophany’s The Clockworks wakes me up. Either way, I turn my alarm off when it plays and spend a few minutes in bed, listening to my phone tell me about the weather for the day before it reads me a “random poem” that hopefully hasn’t gotten stuck on the same one poem like it did for a couple months earlier this year. After that, I get up, put on my exercise clothes, use the bathroom, and then spend the next hour working through my morning routine. Ride a few miles, do some exercises to work out all my muscles, stretch, and then take a brief moment to enjoy a piece of fruit before launching into my daily hygiene routine.
After that, it should be about half past eight, at which point I’ll start drinking my first cup of coffee and I do whatever it is that occupies my time. Maybe a job as a software tester (my current occupation), some other form of externally sourced gainful employment, or maybe working on my various creative artforms that I’ve somehow leveraged to pay my bills. Mixed through all that is the creation of my daily checklist, my daily reflective haiku, some blog post editing, and a bit of new blog post ideation as I go about my self-assigned tasks for the morning.
At half past eleven, I go for my daily walk to soak in whatever sunlight is available to me while stretching out my sore muscles from my morning workout. Once that’s done and I’ve had a bit of time to cool down, I eat a quick lunch while watching a video or reading something and then I get back to work. Over the afternoon, I finish whatever work tasks I’ve assigned myself, take a short rest (usually just zoning out while listening to a podcast or some music, but sometimes I doze), write my blog post, and figure out what on my list is still reasonable to do today. After that, I work on a larger writing project than my blog posts, do some prep work for one of my tabletop games, or catch up on my correspondence as I consider what form dinner will take.
I make and eat dinner, cleaning up at least somewhat if not completely, and then settle in for my evening’s occupation. Maybe watching a show, maybe hanging out online with friends, maybe playing in or running a tabletop game, or maybe working on more personal projects, whatever form they take. Whatever it is, I do it for a few hours before settling down by myself for my nightly routine of using a warm compress on my eyes (which has the dual benefits of being good for me and feeling very relaxing) and then playing a calm, no-stress video game for about an hour before I go to bed, once again at half-past ten. A good, calm day with very little in it that is unexpected, exciting, or disruptive. A bastion of calm effort in a noisy, chaotic world.
That’s not too much to ask, is it? It’s a fairly simple life with almost no comment on the presence of other people, little demand on others, and plenty of doing stuff I find fulfilling. Most of the time, I like doing things a lot more than being idle, and that’s not just because I’ve been brainwashed by the ultra-capitalist grind mindset (though there’s probably a significant chunk that can be attributed to that). I just get board and there’s so much I want to do with my day. Some of it is explicitly restful or about the sort of creative intake I need to do in order to continue with my creative output, but most of what I like to do involves making stuff. I doubt that part will ever go away, even if I was suddenly so wealthy I never needed to do anything ever again.