When Annie Dillard’s saying, “How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives,” appeared to me not once but twice in the last period, I decided I wanted to write about it.
Let’s pick up where Begüm left off last week.
We often don’t think about the fact that the hours and days we spend planning and making goals for the future, are actually what compose our lives. Of course, when we attempt to live out this particular thought, a disarray of the senses ensues: if every day is so precious, where does our drive for importance, in terms of our future successes and gains, come from? Or if we view our lives not in years but in days, we give in to a need to make all those big 24 hours a relentless race for perfection and success.
Compared to 10, 20, or 50 years ago, life seems to demand much more from us. I may have taken an escapist route by using the word ‘life,’ but the truth is that the only person who demands something from us is ourselves. While it was enough for a woman to be a good housewife 70 years ago, today’s woman is expected to not only be a perfect housewife but also a career woman, mother, wife, and friend, as well as simultaneously being cool, cultured, and groomed. Is all that really necessary? Or is its really us who is forcing the realization of these exponentially increasing expectations?
Some days are easy, others are burdensome. Sometimes even the smallest comment can leave a lifelong mark, and sometimes boisterous gestures fall flat in a dry heave. We say something but the other person understands something entirely different. Who knows how many people we misunderstand on a daily basis as the world continues to turn on its path, uninterrupted.
How do your days unfold? You may be good to other people, but are you good to yourself? This kind of simple question is the easiest way to test whether our lives are going in the direction we want.