I had the privilege of spending this past weekend in Chicago, which is pretty much a smaller and cleaner version of New York City; it even had all the stereotypical NYC rudeness; good times. One of the reasons I love to travel is every trip I go on teaches me a lesson. On this trip I realized the value of perfect moments. I’ve had many of these moments in the past, but I’ve never really categorized them as such; they just happened, and I never gave them much thought. A perfect moment is when you feel completely at peace; nothing else matters; everything seems calm and good. It’s not about excitement or having a wow factor. It’s simply a moment of pure bliss. We need to be careful not to be addicted to these times, but enjoying them for what they are can make life that much more enjoyable. Below is a list of when I felt these perfect moments on my trip, which is followed by a list of times I’ve experienced these perfect moments other times in my life:
Enjoying a 700 Calorie Milkshake: Ignoring how my milkshake was about half my required daily caloric intake, sitting and enjoying the shake from the famous Shake Shack (a restaurant that started in NYC) with my friends who were in a relaxed state was perfect.
Navy Pier: Sitting at the end of the pier on a calm night after walking for a couple hours was a moment where my whole body just went ‘awwwwww’ like I was a human balloon deflating.
Navy Pier at the Outdoor Patio: Shortly after that perfect moment I had another perfect moment where I was sitting on a bench watching a local band play (http://www.mikeandjoe.com/). The night air was calm and the band played a bunch of cover songs from my younger years… yes, I know that makes me sound old.
At the Anti-Cruelty Center: The one day we randomly came across this center where we were able to pet the cats and dogs. There’s something peaceful about petting the right animal.
Lincoln Park Zoo: At this free zoo (a price tag that puts me in a good mood) watching the gorillas eat was oddly peaceful.
At Shedd Aquarium: Watching the swimming beluga whales made everything feel right in the world.
Sitting on the Balcony at an Okay Restaurant: After an okay meal at a restaurant that scored way higher on their reviews than I would’ve guessed, the mood at our table was perfect. The sun and breeze were just right, our balcony spot overlooked a pleasant road, and there was no rush to be anywhere.
Outside of this trip these perfect moments include:
Hugging the Right Person: The right hug from the right person at the right time can be heaven.
Petting the Right Animal: Can you tell I’m an animal person?
After Work: There’s something magical about the moment you’re done work for the day.
After a Work Out or Challenging Moment: There can be a peace found when we feel relief.
Standing in the Sunshine: Sometimes when I go outside after being indoors for awhile, the warmth of the sun feels perfect; I close my eyes and just lap up the moment.
The Last Few Minutes of a Shower: After the 5 minute cleaning spree (that’s right 5 minutes because I shower like a man) I take a few minutes to simply enjoy the water falling on me.
In Movies: In certain movies where justice is found or a hero is born like in Secretariat (I love that movie, and I don’t care that I’m not a 14 year old girl; it’s a great movie), everything just feels right and you don’t want that feeling to end.
In Church: I’ve felt these perfect moments while in church listening to the music or a sermon, but with the sermon it’s usually like a movie moment that has an inspirational story.
The End of the Day at Disney: One of my favourite places is Disney World, and my favourite time is at night when all the lights are on and everything feels calm. It’s just perfect.
Bonus Tip: How to Plan a Trip like this: Like all my trips, my wife and I travelled to Chicago with some great friends and found a hotel just outside of the city that had free parking, free breakfast, and was about a 1/3 of the cost of the hotels downtown. Going with friends is amazing because you share costs, and in my case, it saves me from getting angry at my wife who is a terrible navigator… I mean it gives me someone else to talk to. For these trips I plan an activity or two for each day like a ghost tour, gangster tour, architecture tour, and aquarium visit (I like learning), as well as leaving time to explore and do things I find in flyers at the hotel. This trip was made even easier money wise because I booked a different tour each month since March, which means my total bill won’t feel as harsh as if I paid for it all at once.
This week may you recall and/or experience a perfect moment.
Rev. Chad David, ChadDavid.ca, Learning to love dumb people