16 October 2006

best days

what makes for a memorable day...the type of day you mark as one of the best of your life? is it the achievement of a goal or an important event: weddings, graduations, promotions? or maybe we just fall back on those days as candidates for "best in life" because they are so memorable. there are photo albums and eyewitnesses to vouch for them.

but, i suspect, more often a perfect day is one with less planning, a day of surprises perhaps, or a day of seamless enjoyment. for me these qualities define the best days of my life, and i allow the plural just as i allow it with best friends. there is too much pressure to have only one.

these types of days are harder to recall in that they aren't life landmarks. and it might even be sweeter if they pass by without us realizing. you've just had one of the best days of your life and you don't even know it.

here are some of mine:
  • Winter 1995, Framingham: the day i got accepted to dartmouth. not only was i ecstatic at the time, as dartmouth was the only school i wanted to go to, this was a formative day in young jacki's life. looking back, my entire life from that point has been influenced and informed by my experience at dartmouth and my friends from there. sidenote, i've been reading about how several ivys (ivies?) have suspended their early admission programs. while i understand that early admissions give unfair advantage to already-privledged students, in winter 1995 it sure did rock my world.
  • December 2001, New York: this was a day of big thrills, many laughs and my closest friends. seth corby and i rode on a motorcade to the army/navy football game in giants stadium. once you've had the lincoln tunnel cleared of traffic for your motorcade, everything else in life feels rather blase. well, until the opera. saw my first opera at the met. i recommend opera to cure post-motorcade blues. finally, a classic night at bridges (at this point i stop remembering but i assure you, it might have even been the best part of the day). i think corby made us breakfast the next morning.
  • June 2005, Madrid: a perfect sunday in madrid. it was summer, so the day started with a terrace party at our house. from there the afternoon proceeded effortlessly through afternoon/evening drinks in la latina, a little friend drama to keep it interesting, seeing just about everybody we know milling about on the street, a spontaneous street party due to some firemen and their car troubles, and finally to cap off the night more drinks at parque atenas, a cafe in the middle of the park where we sprawled out on a grassy hill with some dogs and lots of people. not working early on monday morning is one of the best things about living here in madrid. sunday nights are a gift.
  • Saturday October 14, 2006, Madrid: saturday qualifies as a best day. it was an unplanned day with perfect weather that came together better than many that you plan for weeks. lance and i spent the afternoon meandering around madrid without direction, stumbling upon some random and delightful things. some easy shopping, a gallery exhibit, a gourmet food fair with a hot bread salesman, an impromptu and delicious dinner at his house. finally, we met up later for a couple of drinks in the barrio which turned into big night out dancing with a fun group of people. came home at 8am tired, happy and impressed.
today's question: would you rather know you were having a/the best day of your life and experience it more fully, or enjoy it unfettered by expectation?


Paul Gladis said...

Every should be the best day of your life... That's what I try to do: just keep making each day better than the last until you want to throw up...

lance said...

i agree it should just spontaneously happen. like they have and do...

Mr. Michael said...

Sniff sniff - what about our Macki Sundays back in the day?