“How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives. What we do with this hour, and that one, is what we are doing.”
– Annie Dillard
After reading this quote over on Break the Twitch, my immediate action was to write it out in a notebook I keep specifically for words, quotes or phrases that resonate with me.
Annie Dillard puts so simply into words a concept that I have always inherently known to be true, but did not fully comprehend until it was presented to me. I think the reason these words hit me so close to home is that for my entire life I have been imagining my ideal future. Now, I’m not saying that’s a bad thing; it is, of course, a wonderful thing to have dreams or goals that you want to achieve. The problem that I have, and I’m sure many other people do to, is that by consistently focusing on all of the ways my life isn’t what I want it to be, I’m not focusing on what my life is.
An example of this type of thinking is something like ‘oh, my life will be better when I accomplish x,’ or ‘when I move out of home I’ll be able to do y.’ What Dillard has made me understand about myself is that I have been sitting around waiting for my life to ‘start,’ when really, it started 24 years ago. In the last couple of years I think that I have been slowly heading towards this lightbulb moment. During this time I have made numerous attempts at making the most out of life (looking for work I’m passionate about, researching travel opportunities, hitting the gym). Admittedly nearly all of them have been unsuccessful despite the fact that I did take actions towards these goals.
But now that the proverbial light has been switched on, it’s time to stop comparing myself to the fantasy version of me that exists only in my head. She is not real. She never will be real unless I put in the work to make her exist.
The question I have to ask myself now is this:
What am I going to do for the next hour?