One of my most faithful readers requested a post on this topic, so here goes. In the spirit of Ferris Bueller, I am going to describe my ideal day off.

There are two ways to approach it. One is to write about how I would spend a realistic day in which I am subject to the vicissitudes of existence – missed connections, too-quiet alarm clocks, clogged traffic, sold-out shows. The other is to write about how I would spend an ideal day – one in which I am bound by the strictures of space and time, but in which the regular limitations that we all deal with are magically erased and everything just goes my way (and also maybe I have some amazing skills that I lack in real life). You know, kind of like it did for Ferris Bueller.

For the first type of day, I hate stress and rushing and anxiety, so I would plan the day to minimize transitions. During the day, I sit on my patio reading the perfect book – one that’s completely absorbing and written so well that, for those hours, I lose myself in a new world.  The cats visit but are never annoying and the dogs in the neighborhood decide to keep quiet, just this once. Towards late afternoon my friends start arriving for a barbecue. Because everything goes my way on this day, ALL my friends come – even the ones who live halfway around the world, but it’s not overwhelming and they all fit on the patio. And, because this is my perfect day, everything goes off smoothly – the food is delicious, the conversation flows, new friendships are formed among my social circle. And, for once, I have time to visit and catch up with everyone. As the sun goes down we start a fire and make s’mores, which melt just enough to be yummy, but not enough to make a drippy mess. And, no one goes home with marshmallow stuck to the back of their pants.

For the second type of day, I would have somehow acquired my dream skill – flying a jet airliner. When I first started this post I was going to have a private pilot’s license and a small plane, but as long as I’m dreaming big, I may as well go for what I really want. Anyway, John Travolta learned to fly jets, so maybe I can too.

I would meet my friends at Boeing Field (fewer security hassles than at SeaTac). We would all board my plane (I’m thinking it would either be a restored DeHavilland Comet or 707) for a flight to Kauai. En route, guests would be able to mingle, eat, and enjoy the flight because instead of having rows of seats the plane would have comfortable sofas and armchairs and instead of serving microwaved pasta in plastic trays, I would serve salmon Benedict, the flakiest of croissants, fresh fruit, and mimosas.

Upon landing in Kauai the group would split into those who want to mountain bike and those who want to go to the beach. The bikers would be whisked to N’apali Coast where we find our very own bikes waiting for us. We have the perfect ride where all the climbs are just the right amount for endorphin production, all the downhills are technical enough to be fun but not enough to kill anybody and the descent goes on and on and on and on. The beachgoers have the option of relaxing, surfing, stand-up paddle boarding, snorkeling or kayaking. No one has to wait in line and no one drowns.

After the ride the bikers head back to the beach for some snorkeling before the vegetarian luau. We see turtles, dolphins and clown fish (work with me here) and wrap up with some beach pounding body surfing.

After the luau the tired and happy group gets back on the plane for a relaxing flight back to Seattle. And, don’t worry, I have hired pilots for the return trip, since I’m pretty tired from the day of adventure. I content myself with stopping by the flight deck often, but mostly I enjoy the party in the cabin.

Posted by lesherjennifer


  1. And no marshmallows on the seat belt , either!



    1. I was thinking of seatbelt marshmallows when I wrote this!



  2. Jennifer, love the story. 2 weeks ago, I took 3 days off from work and went to Chicago to visit an uncle who is dying from cancer. Sad, but necessary. Since he has so many medical appointments and so little energy, I only spent some time with him. This gave me a couple of days off! I did what I asked you to write about.

    I got to see cousins and another set of aunt/uncle that I haven’t seen in a while. Spent some time with my cousin’s son, who will really miss his grandfather. Drove downtown to a crappy camera store, but saw the sites. Drove to the first house I grew up in, saw places that surfaced memories that I haven’t had in decades and shopped at Soldier Field – my mecca.

    My outlook on life is changing with both kids in college and seeing family die off. We need time away from the pressure of work and routine stresses. If not for our mental health, then to recharge our spirt. I hope one day you do get your Ferris Bueller day just to see what amazing regeneration it creates!

    Keep writing! It’s a joy to your readers.



    1. Eric, I’m very sorry about your uncle, but glad you got to see him and your extended family. That sort of life event really does reset your perspective.

      And, thank you very much for being such a faithful reader of my blog.



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