Character is in an emotional state or a particular situation (the status quo)
They go through some story development ie a period of transition
There is a moment of realisation (James Joyce called this moment Epiphany)
The character is now in a new emotional state or situation (a new status quo)
This process of change drives story telling. In a short story you'd probably only have one 'change'; in a novel you would have many. But the basic mechanism is the same.
So, the perfect day I described yesterday is stuck in transition and never moves on. Which was good for me in real life, but would have made a very dull short story.