Currently, all my dreams (since I was eleven or so) are coming true across town from the little house we’re renting, as a basement floor is about to be added to basement walls, and then the frame will go up and the walls get painted (and so many other things) on a brand new house that we will be the first people ever to live in. I fully expect George and Mary Bailey to be there when we arrive, handing us salt and bread and wine.
If you know that about us, you probably think my title is related to that, but it’s not.
More than once in my life, I have been known to say (or, more likely, to write in my journal), “I love my life, but I do not like my days.” I’m going to shuffle out on one very large limb here and assume that perhaps someone else can relate. I actually may have even said this on the blog before. (Have I? I don’t know.)
I’m not sure the sentence makes any sense. Can it be true? And yet, I know it can. Ask any mama of more than one little child. She loves being a mother. It is the happiest of all the happys she has ever experienced. But oh my goodness the days are long and hard and so exhausting she can’t remember from one night to the next how she manages to wake up and keep doing them.
For me currently, the love-my-life part is the overwhelming feeling that I am doing all the things I care about. I am a wife and mother, and I am a writer. I have faith. I eat vegetables and chicken (and other things, I’m just saying…). I have a personal mission statement, big crazy dreams, a little money coming in every single month. I have a home I am proud of and more importantly a house of love and laughter. I could go on, but this is starting to sound like not what I’m going for here.
I have all these things, everything I need for sure and basically everything I want (if in smaller doses than I want them). Thus, I love my life. And yet, my days too often get the better of me. Like, way, way too often. There is a big chunk of the day I’m not that sure about right now (just normal day job thoughts about whether I’m in the right one and doing it to the best of my ability and still growing). And then, the zones in life run together too much. I don’t have enough white space built in. I really love white space when you can breathe for goodness sake and think about things.
I may be newly baptized in the single task movement, but sometimes I think I invented it I believe in it so much, and my days are simply not built for that. I am fighting every minute the culture of our world and the nature of (probably like most jobs) the job of an administrative assistant, to claw my way back to the single task and do it well. That is my great joy, and too often my day has very little of it.
Brendon Burchard, in a video about prioritizing, says that we have to stop prioritizing easy (the busy work that crawls all over my to-do list all day long) and start prioritizing progress (the meaningful projects that actually get us somewhere). He then says this, “You are the architect of your day.”
This is my new dream, to get better at that. To get so magically powerful at it that the days that run away from me become an anomaly instead of pretty much the norm. I want to be all the things I want to be in every given day: I loved my husband, I listened to my children, I wrote, I read, I moved, I learned, I was thankful, and I had at least one brand new thought in the white space. Someday I want to say, I love my life and I love my days (at least the vast majority of them). It’s so greedy to want this and so rich to have all the regular things like shelter and food in place so I can want it. But I do have those things in place, and I do get to want this. I don’t want it like people want retirement. I want it like people want lunch. And lest you wonder, I make that little vacation happen every single day.