Where Do the Days Go?

If I had work where I felt fully engaged, where I felt that I was using my skills for some helpful purpose, where my efforts were recognized and appreciated, then I would be able to go home each night with a feeling of accomplishment, satisfied with the knowledge that I’d done good that day. Evenings would be relaxing down-time, and I would be available for whatever was needed, whoever needed me.

As it is, I feel that my work hours are wasted time. I feel that I’m making the trek each day to fulfill an obligation, waiting for the time when I can go home and when my real life will begin.

Unfortunately, the daily ritual, in all its unsatisfying ways, grinds me down, so that by the time I reach home again, I’m running on a nearly empty tank.

If we have something planned for the evening — a school activity, my son’s baseball game — then I go with it. It will provide meaning for the day.skycranes

When there’s nothing, though, I drink some wine before dinner to recharge. It helps to bridge the gap between my lost work hours and the precious few that remain in the day. And I find that I need to seek out a task. Many people plop down at the TV for the rest of the evening, but to me, that’s more time wasted.

So I pay bills or balance the checkbook. I help one of my kids with homework or organize my desk. During summer, when the days are longer, I’ll mow the lawn or do other yard work.

And when there’s none of that to be done, I’ll want to play my guitar. Except that my nails will be too long, so I’ll have to cut them. Then I don’t want to bother with pulling my guitar case from the corner and tuning up. So I don’t.

Or I’ll think of all the great writing I could be doing. But I don’t.

I just sip my wine and wonder where the days all go.

Clues

Imagine that you were transported to a world where everything around you seemed improbable. Where what you saw and what you heard seemed distant and alien. Where both your sorrow and your happiness felt bizarre and unexpected, and unexplainable. You would look around yourself, at all the things you were doing and that were happening to you, and you would wonder if they were actually occurring, or whether it was all just a product of your imagination, a beautiful or horrible dream.sidewalk

So you would search for clues, some kind of confirmation that this was really happening. You would search for words on a page, the touch of a stranger, the knowing look in another’s eye that would say to you “Yes! I feel it too—I am experiencing what you are experiencing. You are not alone in this strange and bizarre world.”

And you would never rest—no matter how weary you became, or how many obstacles you faced—until you found the evidence that what you were seeing and hearing and feeling were real.

Because you would know that if you ever came to believe it wasn’t real—that none of it ever really happened—then you would invalidate your experience. You would invalidate your very existence. You would cease to be an individual and would forever doubt the reasons why you ever lived at all.

Do not deny the improbable.  It may be all you have.