We Need More Life in Our Days

Adulting is a funny thing. We can’t wait to be done with school, graduate from university and find our first job. We move into our first home and finally create the life we’ve always dreamed of.
And before we know it, we’re knee deep in busy work schedules, endless to-do lists, messy apartments, tired feet, complicated relationships, challenging life questions.
We try to keep up with the insane pace life seems to dictate, wondering where in the world our time has gone.

I recently had an epiphany about that.

After some very intense weeks at work, I decided life could not be this way. I had worked for school all week and prepared some more for it on the weekends. If I wasn’t too exhausted from working and worrying, I managed to squeeze some cleaning in between. Everything else – connecting with friends, reading, meeting for coffee, shopping, summer plans – had been pushed to the next school break.

Wait, what? All the things that somehow made life enjoyable and ‘normal’ would only happen every seven-eight weeks? Insane. 

“How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives.”

Annie Dillard. The Writing Life.

Yes, there is still a lot to in my days and I can’t just drop everything and leave (and I also don’t think it should be). But I want to give my tasks the appropriate place in my week, so that I still enjoy doing them at the end of the day. I want to create rhythms, so that my days actually have more life. 

Like setting time aside to answer emails and do school work. And not be bothered by it outside of these times.
Like unsubscribing from emails I don’t read anyway and rather focus on some healthy food for thought.
Like being present for the tasks and people in front of me.
Like being more conscious about what I buy and eat.
Like treating myself sometimes .
Like taking time to reflect and practice gratitude.
Like cleaning out the messy parts and making space for new thoughts and new life.
Like taking a walk after a few hours at the desk.
Like being still and resting in the peace of the Almighty.

Something fundamental had clicked inside of me: I don’t have to live that way – haunted by my lists and unfinished business. I actually have the privilege to work and create and network – all in its appropriate time. 

When I told a friend about my epiphany, she just smiled and said, “You know, I’ve been watching you work and toil for months now and wondered when you’d come around.” Well, I finally did. It just takes a while to grow – especially as an adult.

Which rhythms can you create to give your days more life? 

Writing for Five Minute Friday today.
Incidentally, Emily P. Freeman has just released a podcast episode on theme days on The Next Right Thing, if you’re interested! 🙂

Author: Katha von Dessien

Teacher. Believer in the Wilderness. Third Culture Kid. World Traveler. People and Food at the Table Lover. Writer.

10 thoughts on “We Need More Life in Our Days”

  1. It took me a really long time to understand this concept! I get up early so I can have quiet time to bask in God’s presence, prepare for my day, exercise, and plan. I try not to do any one thing for too long (I start to loose my effectiveness). I stay off social media as much as possible and I quit playing Candy Crush ;).

    1. You seem to have mastered it! I am really bad at getting up earlier than I have to (since work starts so early). And I have never understood the obsession with Candy Crush… 🙂 I hope you enjoy your mornings!

  2. You reached this point way earlier than I did, in my life. Bravo!

    All the bustle and the hurry,
    all days when I rushed by
    simple beauty as I’d worry
    about falling behind ere I die.
    But, then, what was the standard,
    what was the goal I tried to reach?
    Should I have abandoned
    striving, and taken longboard to the beach?
    The surfer’s life’s a tempting chalice
    a sip of nectar, tastes like beer,
    but it’s also got imbalance
    behind which lurks the pain we fear.
    So I guess there is a reason
    why “to everything there is a season.”

  3. “I actually have the privilege to work and create and network – all in its appropriate time. ” I love that! Thank you for the reminder!

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