Thursday, March 19, 2015

Lost Days and Found Moments

When you are working full-time, your days are essentially planned for you. You live by a calendar and by a clock, both of which are dictated by your work. It can be restrictive, to be sure. What you can do in your kids' schools or in your community or with your friends all depends on your work. What time will you need to be in? When will you finish? Will you be local or traveling? There might be differences from day to day, but the structure is essentially the same.

Take all of that away, and where does that leave you? I seem to find that out more often these days than I might like. In my line of work, full-time can be a part-time endeavor, leaving a person with days that don't fit that "planned for you" model, days that, if you can't plan them for yourself, get lost in the shuffle. They may be full of hours and intentions, but they can easily be lost to uncertainty, anxiety, and the assorted intrusions of a persistent world.

Today was to be one of those days. It began with a to-do list--a good start. But when the "to-do's" were hard to get done, the day somehow acquired a "not-done" feel about it--things "not done" that left me in this spot, errands "not done," despite having the time to do them, chores "not done," even though the energy for them was not exactly being used elsewhere. When I reached day's end, somehow hours had been lost, or so it seemed. Hours that I could never get back. Hours with not much to show for them.

We are not conditioned to understand lost hours, much less, lost days. We are trained, from a young age, to fill our days with accomplishments big and small, not to let our days just drift by. And perhaps that is among the biggest challenges of a freelance life--understanding that there will be lost hours--that not every day at home will result in a new revelation or a new connection, that not every day not working will bring you closer to a clean house, connection with your family, or new skills. Sometimes a lost day is, well, just a lost day. And as long as you don't have too many of them, that's actually okay. We can't all be winners daily--though we can recognize the tiny victories. We can't all accomplish big things daily, but we can appreciate the little things. And perhaps, that is what I learned today--it's okay to have lost days, as long as along the way, we also have found moments.

1 comment:

  1. Another great post that resonates! This week has been full of accomplishments until all of a sudden, crushed by what appears to be anxiety over the nascent college application process, I kind of came to a standstill. Planning to go to bed at a reasonable time and make a list (YUCK! I hate lists!) tomorrow. Lori