I fly a great deal.
Well, that’s not exactly accurate; I am in airplanes a great deal. They fly. I merely constrict my five-feet-eight-inches of body into about three-feet-seven-inches of space for four hours 18 minutes of discomfort, late arrivals, and poor service. It’s a privilege for which I pay a great deal of money.
To alleviate the numbness in my limbs, I think of walking.
However scrambling and stumbling over three other contorted travelers to stagger sloth like down a scrawny center aisle following a unhurriedly moving food cart with attendants lobbing over-priced “box meals” to ravenous twisted travelers doesn’t sound advantageous. Therefore, I read.
One of the airlines on which I frequently endure travel has a regular feature in their magazine. It lays out how to spend a few “perfect days” in an exotic city. For example, “three perfect days in Paris,” or “four perfect days in Bangkok.” They have yet to list “six perfect days in Eureka” but I am sure it is soon to be.
My internal recovering perfectionist is intrigued by the very concept of a “perfect day.”
What would it be like? For that matter, is it even possible? And, of course, since all things in my life filter through the screen of dieting, my thoughts turned toward, “What would it be like to be perfect on my diet for one week?”
Of course, counter-intuitively, it’s thoughts like those that actually trigger failure. By expecting to be “perfect,” an impossibility, one sets himself up to “blow it,” a human experience. The perfectionist, after slipping on the path to attain the stated goal of 100 percent, says, “Well, as long as I blew it, I might as well really blow it. I’ll start again tomorrow;” actually remaining stagnant in the pursuit of his goal. I believe “perfectionism” is an excuse to avoid doing the actual, ongoing, daily effort required to simply get “better.”
Therefore, with those as my beliefs, I quickly dismissed the concept of “seven perfect days” doing anything. But, I thought, “What about “three perfect days?” Three seems doable; at least it did, until I realized I have to eat out a few times this week. Should I put butter on my roll at my favorite Italian restaurant; have I then abandoned the sought-after grail of perfection? For that matter, is even going to an Italian restaurant considered “failing?” What happens if I have an extra glass of wine? Now what? Where does one draw the line?
No, too much effort to be perfect to do three days. What about one?
Could I do absolutely everything I need to do for one complete turn of the Earth without making even the teensy-weensiest error? Could I write down everything I eat? Could I prepare all my foods in the healthiest fashion possible? Would I weigh and measure every morsel that entered my mouth? Would I take time to sit and reflect on whether I’m actually being driven by hunger or appetite before chowing down? Would I? Could I? Will I? Only for one day.
Nah. I know me; it ain’t gonna happen.
But, know what? Just the thought of how “good” I could be caused me to think about what I was doing that day. I didn’t have a perfect day; but I had a darn-well great one. Should I have more days like that than not, it would feel like a luxury vacation my entire life.