The best day ever

I’ve been conducting a lot of interviews lately for a series I’m writing at work. I have a bagillion questions that I rotate through so that I’m not asking the same questions all the time but one of them, one of my favourites, is “What is your best day?”
I love that question. It’s f-ing hard to answer though!! Sorry, interviewees 😊

I have to say, most people are stumped, and can’t really come up with anything on the spot, which is understandable as it’s an impossibly daunting question to answer at all, let alone in the moment. It catches people off guard. I have to say there’s something I kind of like about that.

Anyway, in asking the question, I’ve been thinking about it a lot and reflecting about what my answer might be. What would I say is my best day ever?

The truth is, depending on the day, my answer is different.

Interestingly, the first thing that pops into my head fairly consistently, is a day I had with my then boyfriend a lifetime ago. It was late November or Early December. A Saturday. He and I worked together in the same restaurant, and Saturdays off were rare, and that we both had a Saturday off? Well, our managers must have loved us a lot, because that never happened.

We spent the day together shopping for Christmas stuff. I bought a Christmas tree at Zellers (ha!), along with all the decorations to go with it. We wandered around, we looked at toys and mused about the Christmas traditions we’d start when we were married and had kids (double ha!). Then we picked up groceries to make a lovely dinner (which was a luxury back in those days) and some adult beverages.

We came home to my place and put up the tree while listening to Christmas music (I still do that, albeit by myself, or at least without the shitty boyfriend). We made dinner, and then snuggled on the couch and watched Christmas movies by the light of the tree.

It was a perfect day. I remember still, my feeling of complete contentment. I was so in the moment, so happy, so in sync with my BF. At that point, of course, I was blissfully unaware that he was a cheating lying liar, but that’s beside the point.

I still have that tree and I put it up every year. I do have new decorations though.

So, that’s the memory that comes up immediately when I think about what my best day is.

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But, I don’t have to think too hard to start to remember other best days.

I recall going to Canada’s Wonderland with my family when I was, I don’t know, 11 or 12? It’s that great time for a young girl when you’re not exactly a kid, but you’re not a teenager yet, so you can kind of live in two worlds. I remember it being a hot, sunny summer day and my mom had done my hair in two long French braids so it was up off my neck and back. Being there with my family was just the best. We were all so excited to go on the rides (well, the kids), to walk around and people-watch, to try to win stuffed animals in those ridiculous carnival games and generally, to be together. I know that sounds corny, but you guys, we really did like each other!

Mom and Dad had packed a cooler with lunch and snacks and drinks, and we all piled in the old station wagon (lovingly nick named “the Bomb”) and headed out early in the morning, bleary-eyed from not being able to sleep because I was so excited.

I remember going on my first non-kid roller coaster. I sat with my big sister and I was scared shitless. It was The Bat – do you know that one? It’s the one that goes forward and just when you think the loop-di-looping is over, you do it all over again, but backwards!!! She held my hand the whole time, fingers entwined. At the end, she had indentations on her fingers from the rings she was wearing from my intense squeezing. That’s love. I wanted to get right back in line so I could do it again. The feeling of conquering a fear, and the comfort I found in my sister was heady.

I can also recall so many of my best days at friends’ cottages. I love being on/at/near water. Just going for a boat ride gives me a sense of peace I can’t find anywhere else. I remember so many days of staring into a bonfire by the lake, eating junk food, talking about the pressing issues of our teenage lives, spending the day playing board games and cards with friends, making friendship bracelets and dreaming of the future when we’d finally be adults.

See? It’s so hard to narrow it down to one!

Maybe the goal should be to make every day a contender for best day ever. Not every day will hit the mark, of course, but the making of the best lies in the intention to do so, right?

I think sometimes the best best days are made when you’re not looking. I mean, I loved the day I graduated from university – it was an awesome day! Other best days: the day I rented my first apartment on my own. The day I met each of my nieces and nephew. The day I wrote my very last exam in school. The day I got my first car. The day I moved to Toronto.

My point is, best days can, and often are, those big, milestone days.  They’re the ones you have a bunch of photos of to keep a record, pulling them out now and then to relive the magic.

The best days can also be regular, innocuous days that you, only in retrospect, can see that that feeling you had, while you were doing that thing, or when you were with that person, or whatever, was actually the best.

Do you have a best day ever?