How You Spend Your Days Is How You Spend Your Life


How we spend our days is of course how we spend our lives,” This Annie Dillard quote haunts me. I got a notification on Sunday evening that my screentime average that week was 7 hours and 52 minutes a day. A day. It’s nauseating, and yet I feel myself in the thick mire of something difficult.

You should know that I am a raging introvert and a stay-at-home parent, and so the pandemic burnout has been more of a slow irritant for me more than anything else. Truth be told, I have been happy to have fewer social expectations placed on me. Only now, nearly a year in, I think I am finally at a place of missing my friends. I miss library classes and play dates with my toddler. I think I miss anything that could break up the monotony of these cold, gray days.

We are in the thick of infertility and have recently started IVF. I’m a private person, and it’s a lonely battle. My husband is A-1, but he’s still a guy. To me, the journey feels inherently different for the genders. My body is a pin cushion for shots; my womb feels ineffective; my hormones rage and dissipate at the whims of ultrasounds, blood tests, and more shots. My husband is sympathetic; he is good and kind, but his body doesn’t bend and curve around the ache of an empty womb.

I am lonely. I am tired—tired in my soul. I am spiritually depleted. I am in love with my little family and our little life, and yet, last week I spent nearly 8 hours a day on my phone—searching for something, I guess.

Am I searching for hope? I have searched the #ivfsuccess more times than I can count on Instagram. I am sitting with my daughter playing, and I find my fingers searching for my phone, digging for some hope. I wake up in the middle of the night–searching, searching.

Am I searching for friendship? My circle is small. But I can make a light-hearted post on Instagram, and it has nothing to do with the ache in my heart, and people send smiles and hearts—and it’s like eye contact from a stranger on the street. It’s small, but sometimes that’s all I want.

Am I searching for pacification? My mind, it wanders. My heart, it breaks. Sometimes I can spend most of my daughter’s nap time stimulated by Instagram images and quietly pacified into a shining numbness. I think I must be scared to name my sadness. To look into the muck and mire that I’m teetering over. I honestly didn’t even realize how sad I was until I started writing this. I hate to feel sadness, and so I pacify myself into a quiet solitude with the endless scrolling on my phone.

Life can be heavy. It can feel heavy to think how these days stack up and create a life. I recognize and give endless praise that there is so much joy and good in my day; and yet, I am not nearly sucking the marrow from this life. I would be saddened to see my daughter live her adult life this way—caring for her children and building a home; but not creating, not reading, not dancing, not running, not writing, not playing.

I am going to put my phone away for a while now, ‘pocket my pacifier’ so-to-speak because how you spend your days is how you spend your life. And life is such a precious gift.