A Good Use of Time

As Sunday afternoon wore on, part of me felt frustrated. It complained, “Here’s the whole day gone and I haven’t done anything!”

The other part of me countered, “What I have done is go on a 5½ mile walk with my husband and my dog, stopping in the middle for a charming lunch at a sidewalk café. What I have done is lived.”

Why is it so hard to feel like that is a valid way to spend part of my weekend? Especially when there was nothing else I particularly wanted to get done that day?

It’s easy to imagine a certain swath of the world’s population finding this a perfectly satisfactory way to live – people in hot climates, Latin America or the Mediterranean. You go to work, you eat, you enjoy yourself. What is the point of life without pleasure? Or even, what is the point of life if not to enjoy yourself?

In the USA, it often feels like you could be the best parent in the world, and if you didn’t have any career in particular, you would hardly be viewed as having accomplished anything. The most generous, light-bringing person in an entire city, and if you didn’t invent something or affect the stock market or make a million dollars, you wouldn’t be considered successful.

It seems like the “stuff” life is made up of, the everyday clutter that is so forgettable, has become the measurement of success.

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