What we do every day matters more than what we do once in a while. – Gretchen Rubin
If this blog has a theme (and it doesn’t, as I’ve established), it would likely be wonder, but close behind that is a preoccupation with daily-ness, with the small activities, thoughts, and emotions that make up our days and therefore our lives. I think at least daily of the quote that last year’s family holiday card featured: “How we spend our days, is, in fact, how we spend our lives.” – Annie Dillard
Or of the salient reminder that “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.” (I’ve seen this ascribed to Aristotle, Cicero, and others, so I’m not sure precisely who to attribute it to).
I also like the Gretchen Rubin’s assertion of the importance of what we do every day. So I’ve been thinking about what I do every (or most) day(s). And, conversely, what I rarely do. Just as I think we can look at a week or a month of our lives and view our time allocation as a map of what matters to us, I think we can draw conclusions about what we care about through looking carefully at what we do (and do not) do regularly.
Every day I read, most days I exercise, every day I work, every day I spend time with Matt, Grace, and Whit, most days I text or email with a small circle of dear friends and family. Every day I brush my teeth, every day I change into pajamas at the earliest opportunity (sometimes in the morning if I’m working at home), most days I cook for my family, most days I do laundry. Most days I take pictures of the sky, some days at sunset.
Rarely I go out, rarely I talk on the phone for personal reasons (though I do all day for work), rarely I watch TV
What do these small, mundane acts say about my priorities? I think they say my family, my work, and our home comes first. I think they say that I’m an introvert who prefers my pajamas to a night out. I think they say sometimes I need to work harder to get exposure to the wide world out there.
I’m comfortable with what my priorities look like when I stare in the mirror, when I map out what I do every day, how I spend my days, how I spend my life. Far from perfect, but entirely aligned with my values.
What do you do every day, and what do you do rarely? Do you like what these answers say about what you value?