How Many Days Pass You By?

How Many Days Pass You By?

"How many days pass you by that you could take or leave? When nothing really happened?"- A Fighters Heart by Sam Sheridan.

I recently came across this quote from a book I read a while ago. I realized that I tangentially think about the essence of this question often. What defines a day that you would take? Are days when nothing really happens okay? And what do those days look like? What's the difference between days you'd take or leave?

Right away, there's a dichotomy in my mind. If accomplishing things in your day is a day you'd take, this could also lead to some level of 'I must do these things today' stress — possibly making the day one you'd leave. If you're annoyed you didn't get everything done, would you rather leave the day? This is the first place my mind went, and I think that shows a lot about me. My mind was predisposed to think about a worthy day as something where I accomplished the things I hoped to. I struggle to do everything I want in a day, and I'm hard on myself sometimes. "We grossly overestimate what we can do in a week and underestimate what we can do in a year." - Someone

Back to the questions at hand, are there days where nothing really happens? I think this depends completely on your perspective (as many of the answers will). I think you could say most days in the eyes of most Monday - Friday workers, nothing really happens. We do the same thing or slight variations of the same thing, and the weekends stand out. Overall, I think for most people, there are more days where nothing really happens than things that we'd rather take or leave. And that's precisely why I think our life is made by the days that nothing really happens. The quality and personal meaning we have in our life is built and pursued in those days. So how should we spend them?

I also think that with the right perspective, every day, regardless of what became of it, has something which we would take. Maybe there are a few days here and there we would rather not have, but I think those are rare and we probably would benefit more from acting like these are exceptions rather than the rule. When we are just happy and grateful to be alive, capable of perceiving and feeling emotion, every day has plenty of things we'd take. But this is easier said than done.

If we are to look back on our life from our deathbed, I think it will be hugely important that we know we were intentional about living our days. Why? Because we don't even remember everything we do in a week, especially the individual moments we were a good person or tried to be. What about an entire life? If we are intentional about the things we deem important, like the answers to the questions we'd ask ourselves on our deathbed looking back on our life, we'll know at the end of the week, or the end of our life, that we were intentional in all our moments and that's important.

Lastly, "How many days pass you by that you could take or leave? When nothing really happened?" is a false question. We can't take or leave anything; we can only take everything because our life moves in one direction. But of course, it's just a thought experiment to help us choose to live our days differently than we are by thinking about which ones we'd theoretically take or leave. Just like imagining ourselves on our deathbeds looking back on our lives, the only difference is that one is actually possible.

Anyways, what makes a day worth it for you? Is it completing your to-do list? Is it stillness?

I believe meaning is the central focus of our lives. “He who has a why to live for can bear almost any how” ― Friedrich Nietzsche. And I think this question about days we'd take and leave actively play a role in that. Which is no great conclusion in my eyes because if we want to live a meaningful life, we do that in our every day because that’s all our life is made up of anyways.

So most importantly, who are you on your nothing days?

See you in two weeks.

‘til our last breath,

James Kiesewetter


Click here for more information on James’ book Smile Your Last Breath Away
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