I have found that I have a bad habit of assuming permanence for temporary situations. For instance, when a day is boring, I trick myself into thinking every subsequent day will also be boring; when my day is stressful, I begin to think all of life is stressful; and when the day is heartwarming, I do believe life to be as such. Particularly in the era of COVID-19, I let days overwhelm me, simply because I forget what they are: days — no more, no less. And in the sea of a busy semester, it is easy to let each one run together, merging into a singular, overwhelming conglomeration rather than temporary and rich segments. But I must remind myself as I am living these finite days that they do not mesh into sameness. Rather, when you stop and think about it, each day is individually crafted and entirely different than its predecessor.
Something I have found throughout the past several months is that, in my mind, something can always be better. When I am busy, I crave rest. When I am bored, I crave newness. When I am hurting, I crave healing — and so on. It can be so easy to get caught up in days or even seasons and wish them away because we let them all bleed together, rather than acknowledging that we are, in fact, living so many different types of days.
To name a few, last week I underwent a range of different days: Monday was exhausting — a whirlwind, of sorts; Tuesday seemed redundant, attending the same classes as I always do; Wednesday was hectic, holding my breath in hopes that every necessary item could get checked off my to-do list; Thursday was restorative, as that week’s issue of The Bison had been completed and I could breathe once again; Friday took an unexpected turn, as a friend tested positive for COVID-19, resulting in changed plans and several other friends being forced to quarantine; Saturday was an outpouring of celebration, as one of my best friends got engaged, and friends and family were able to gather to honor the couple’s togetherness.
When I stop and think about the variety we are granted in life, even if miniscule at times, I am profoundly grateful and perpetually impressed. I suppose, while some of these days may have been more glamorous or captivating than others, they are each important. And I suppose each plays a significant role in living on earth — the certainty and the uncertainty, the boredom and the chaos, the conflict and the resolution — because you simply cannot have one without the other. Not only is this variety necessary, but it is entirely challenging and fruitful. Because it is often somewhere among the mundanity, untidiness or downright confusion that comes the fruit of earned and grounded joy.
When I start to view life in this manner, no, not everything is perfect, but every day is valuable in its own right. The boring days can become more beautiful, and even the repetition can become profound. For they are each a part of life, and you cannot have one without the other.