Friday, March 31, 2023

How Do You Measure Your Days?

I am asked over and over, “What did you do this weekend?” I have begun to wonder if I need to keep notes that list my daily accomplishments because I really do not know what I did…well I know but it takes a bit of time for me to conjure it all up. I aim to live purposefully but the dribs and drabs to not consume me. 

I love my life and I find joy is every moment. On the other hand, I don’t feel especially important or interesting. And there you have it. I don’t count each day but a time that has filled my life since I have figured out my new statice as a widow.

Yet I do measure my life. Each day is important in my existence even at 81. In fact, they may be more important now than ever…the days dwindle.

I was cleaning one of my guest room, moving furniture and removing books and papers. Walt Whitman’s Leaves of Grass fell open in my hand…the page was chapter 4 of “Song of Myself”. He wrote:

Trippers and askers surround me,

People I meet, the effect upon me of my early life or the ward and city I live in, or the nation,

The latest dates, discoveries, inventions, societies, authors old and new,

My dinner, dress, associates, looks, compliments, dues,

The real or fancied indifference of some man or woman I love,

The sickness of one of my folks or of myself, or ill-doing or loss or lack of money, or depressions or exaltations,

Battles, the horrors of fratricidal war, the fever of doubtful news, the fitful events;

These come to me days and nights and go from me again,

But they are not the Me myself.

He continues for many page but towards the end he says this:

The past and present wilt—I have fill’d them, emptied them,

And proceed to fill my next fold of the future.

 Walt Whitman did not measure his days against those mundane things we do daily. While each day was filled with joy I think he did not dwell on the past or the present…his thoughts were focused on the future.

I feel very much the same way…while today may not be worth noting, the truth is that, as the whole comes together, I see such a shining place…the future that is. 

How about you…how do you measure your days?



1 comment:

  1. Dear Barbara, in early April I celebrated my 87th birthday. It felt as if I'd stopped in front of a sign post portioned at the end of a road through all these years I've been traveling. The signpost indicates that the road diverges--just as Robert Frost said would happen in life.

    For me, right now, I'm looking at that signpost, which points to the future, and I find myself musing about a future of writing more books or of simply enjoying the way the river of life flows through me.

    As of this moment, I'm trying simply to do what a friend has long suggested: "Go with the flow." And yet, always the flow has bone around a bend and I've found again and again the joy of writing. Of crafting a good sentence that offers both clarity and transition to whatever signposts and happenings lie ahead. Peace from Dee Ready and the cats (


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