Kathleen’s Perfect Day (Turns Out, the Standards Have Changed)

I’m working on redefining “perfection” at home on my couch.

Well, it certainly seems strange to be writing about a perfect day in these new and eerie times. Is it cheating to say that my perfect day includes NOT reading scary news articles about the potential trajectory of the coronavirus? Not making a six am grocery store run to maintain social distancing? Not quietly monitoring my lockdowned kids’ snacking, calculating when I’ll have to procure more food? Not worrying about at-risk relatives and the potential worldwide death toll?

So much has changed in the last couple of weeks. If it were Tuesday, March 3rd, I’d tell you my perfect day would be something like this: I’d wake up in a slope-side villa at a mountain ski resort. I’d sip a mildly-sweet matcha latte while my family sleeps. I’d get a little work done in my pajamas. I might compose a post for this website or dabble in revisions for my second book or beta-read someone else’s genius novel.

Later, I’d pull on some clothes, greet my family, and send them off for the day. I’d stroll the village streets, deciding on a cafe in which to work for the morning hours. I’d write easily and prolifically. After lunch, I’d go for a run, a leisurely one that I could do comfortably at altitude. More tea. Maybe a little more work. There would be wine with dinner, and then a sparkling, laugh-out-loud conversation amongst the members of my family. I’d watch tv with my husband after that. We’d work our way through the final season of The Americans (for the love of God, no spoilers!) or The Bachelor. I’d fall asleep peacefully, unbothered by the dry mountain air and stay asleep all night.

But now on March 17th with everything infinitely less certain? Perfection would be an outdoor sporting event with my kids. A walk with a friend. March and April book events I’ve been looking forward to. Needless to say, all of this is canceled. Instead, my family is doing our part, staying inside and away from others. There are good moments, but I think we all know it’s hard and scary and, of course, necessary. 

Be well, everyone! See you next Tuesday when I’ll still be here on my couch, looking for alternate versions of perfection in this bizarre time.

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Kathleen West

Kathleen West is the author of the forthcoming novel, Minor Dramas & Other Catastrophes, out 2/4/20 from Berkley. She lives in Minneapolis with her family.