The symptoms are unmistakable. Multiple yet fruitless trips to the coffee room. That lurking shadow of apathy around the eyes. That sallow sag of your attire that hints at an impending identity crisis. Irritability at being irritable. Acting like an alcoholic when you aren’t one. But you sure are considering it. I know you’re wishing you had the guts to hit “Abort” on your week, your life, and slide shouting out of the office on an inflated emergency slide like that flight attendant. But your mortgage has you in a chokehold and its all you can do to just stare back at it blankly and blink a few times as it squeezes the life out of you one day at a time. Yeah, I know. You’ve got a case of the Every Days.
Some people avoid the Every Days marvelously. Some people have it chronically. But it all starts with that question in your mind as you’re chewing on your toothbrush in the morning—what do I want to do and am I doing it? What am I contributing and what could I that I’m not? Am I settling or am I just complaining? For those of us who are lucky enough to work in climate-controlled environments with drinkable tap water and a sanitary medical facility within 10 miles, a life 500 feet above simple survival can sometimes lose its luster. Gratefulness, even for the most conscientious of us, is something that sometimes needs to be mustered up as a reminder on our calendars. And that’s ok, that’s all part of the contract. Just keep reminding yourself. Like flossing. I recently saw my brother walk into the mouth of mortality hand in hand with B-cell, T-cell lymphoblastic leukemia and bargain for his life from inside. And I still sometimes forget to remember.
The biggest question that the Every Days begs is simply a matter of perspective. What about life are we all fighting so hard for? And when my number comes up, what is that I’d fight for? Some people want to give you the piece about only worrying about what “really matters”. And I think that’s great. If they can achieve that kind of mental gymnastics 24/7, then I’d be the first in line to take a meditation class from them. But for the rest of us, well, we not only sweat the small things, we live them. We eat them, we memorize them. We do them for a living.
So on this morning, when I met myself in the mirror with the clear marks of the Every Days, I knew that this was one more day I couldn’t turn my back on my destiny. And its not that kind of destiny that merits a two-page spread or a non-profit named after me. It’s the destiny that only I am accountable for. And in fact to be precise, the first day of the rest of my life passed months ago. This morning I was a writer with nothing to write about. Well. Here’s something.