You know, I've been thinking about this all day off and on. The truth is I have never imagined what a "dream day" would look like and at the same time I do it constantly. What I mean is that I often have a plan or vision how a day will go, what I will spend my time on and who. And sometimes the day comes out looking like I imagined or even better. Other times, complete disaster - which is when I hit Ctrl-Alt-Delete and switch up my expectations with a new on the fly ideal plan.
Travel: When I think of an ideal day for me, it often will entail spending time in a fabulous city, being a tourist. I get to sleep until 8:30 or even later if I want to. I'll eat something delicious and have a dark, rich coffee. I'll browse through my guidebook over breakfast, which I'll be having with Mr. Wonderful, of course, and we'll talk about what we want to see that day. Then we walk and take public transportation to a museum we've been wanted to visit and spend 4 hours or so there, having a light lunch in the museum cafe (these always seem to have pretty good food). We don't try to cram a bunch of sites into one day - maybe we take a self-guided walking tour around town or go to a historic building, neighborhood, cemetery - whatever... At some point we stop for a coffee and a snack. Later in the afternoon we'll sit outside at a cafe with a great people-watching view (because the weather is always perfect on a day like this), and have a beer or glass of wine depending on where we are. We pick someplace to have dinner, we may go back to the hotel for a nap. The pace is natural, not forced. Since we are relaxed, there will of course be some sex. After our fabulous dinner at a small neighborhood restaurant, we'll have a stroll on a romantic street, or along a promenade - and end the evening ready for an amazing night's sleep on an incredibly comfortable bed in a cute little boutique hotel. Because on a dream day, you get all the rest you need.
I've had days exactly like this with Mr. Wonderful in at least 5 different cities.
Camping: For me, the perfect day of camping comes the day after you've completed a strenuous hike into pristine wilderness with a heavy back on your back and set up camp near a glorious lake. Morning comes and your back is NOT sore after sleeping on a thin pad on the ground because it's your dream day afterall. You boil water for coffee and oatmeal, the sky is clear and the air is a little cool. Your kids are entertaining themselves throwing rocks into a lake or poking around near the camp. No complaining about the food. No fighting or whining of any kind. We pack a lunch for a day hike to another lake maybe 3 or 4 miles away and the walk is glorious. Winding through groves of trees, over rocky hilltops and through one or two meadows full of wildflowers. We get to the lake and strip down to go for a swim since the hike was a little strenuous and it's warmer now. Bask in the sunshine on a rock in our undies (or swimsuits, or naked depending on who all is there) to dry. Have some lunch. Try our hand at a little fishing even though mid-day is not a great time to catch fish. We don't really care. At some point we pack ourselves back up and hike back to our base camp. I'd probably make some dinner while Mr. Wonderful and Wild Thing did some fishing. Teen Wonder is off by herself on a rock next to the lake reading or writing in her journal. We eat some dinner and build a little fire (because there's no fire danger on your ideal day). Then we hang around the fire and camp playing Bananagrams or cards, having cocoa. Maybe some scotch for the grownups. And we'll make s'mores. The kids go to bed without a fight or any complaining. Mr. Wonderful and I sit up a little while longer by the fire just quietly or talking a little about our day. We look at the starry sky and pick out constellations, and then we hit the sleeping bag pretty early because it's dark and we won't have any trouble sleeping on the thin pads on the ground.
I haven't had this exact day with both kids - but I could put together a composite from several fun camp days.
There's a weekend version of an ideal day that involves sleeping in a little, but not too late. Getting some exercise right away and then a nice long hot shower. On and ideal weekend day I wouldn't have all the obligations of laundry, grocery shopping, paying bills, etc. I would have maybe one baseball game to go to, or a kung fu class - but not a lot of driving around. No driving is the best, unless we want to go on an excursion to a beach or hiking trail. I would have at least 2 hours to devote to something crafty. I would have time to try a new recipe and bake some fresh cornbread or a berry pie. The family would all have a friendly, happy dinner together - no fighting or complaining or Wild Thing refusing to sit in his seat or Teen Wonder texting. After dinner Teen Wonder does the dishes immediately and we have time to play a game of Sorry! or Life. And time to watch an episode of Adventure Time as a family. The kids will go to bed (after story time for Wild Thing) without any hassle. Mr. Wonderful and I will have a couple hours of grown-up time together. Maybe we'll make cocktails and sit and talk on the back patio in our lovely yard (not lovely yet, but in my ideal day it will be).
We've had weekend days like this. I wish they were more frequent, but we have a lot of activities and obligations that make most weekends fairly hectic.
I think I will leave out the ideal work day. But it would entail no commute, a clear list of goals for the day, a sense of accomplishment, time for some exercise, and a family dinner.
To be honest, I don't feel like there are any solid barriers to having days like these - just stuff that happens. That's life. In my ideal world, I would of course be done with diabetes and all things autoimmune. I'd have more control over my own time. But I don't spend anytime fantasizing about these things - well, not the absence of any disease anyway. So I work as hard as I can to streamline my medical care and take care of myself. And I constantly battle the overextension issues that I have in time management. Then my "perfect" days can be more frequent. I'm okay with not every day being perfect anyway - I'd probably start to take them for granted rather than observing the moment with gratitude for the gift of every day, good or bad.