23,376 Days

There’s an old shed on our property that needs to come down… ever since we lived there actually… which is about 8,694 days.  But like many things, it was put on the back burner.  It was too cold outside, too rainy, too hot, too much stuff stored inside and what would we do with it all anyway?

But last Saturday was the beginning of it’s end.  As we worked to empty it, boards fell off on their own.  The rest will meet its end next weekend.

As we worked my emotions cycled between relief and embarrassment.  Why didn’t we do this long ago?  Why did we waste so much time?  A parade of unfinished projects, plans and hopes for this property marched thru my brain.

But it serves no purpose to beat yourself up. The past has passed.  And by day’s end my feelings were all relief and a lot of gratitude.

I’ve come late in life to that biblical admonition to “number” my days.  I’m still trying to understand.  Setting goals is a good thing.  But clearly, looking at life in big chunks of time hasn’t worked for me.

Am I supposed to check the days off like they’re part of a gigantic “to-do” list?  What happens when something derails the countdown?  Something like a death, a birth, job loss or health issues?  What happens if my time ends suddenly?

Today I have lived 23,376 days.

I did not use them all well… because life has a habit of derailing countdowns… and I have a habit of loosing hope.

…. like these last 598 days.  Living the role of caregiver in my mother-in-law’s home wasn’t on my countdown.  It was one of those things you thought “could” happen, but probably not really, but really… it did.

My tendency is to set aside my “real” life so I can focus on this job that needs doing.  When, in fact, this is all my real life.  All of it.

If you view life as a gift from God, which I do, then each day is a perfect present of 24 hours.  A few of them I opened and used well.  Too many of them… not.  And with more than I care to admit, I chose to wait until next week, next month, next year… to do what needed doing.  But I didn’t.  And now they’re gone… along with the opportunity and blessing each carried.

Awhile back I read 20,000 Days and Counting, by Robert D. Smith.  It’s had me thinking about using this gift of a day… about how to take the orderly plans and the messy surprises, pull them together and build upon them… so at the end of a week or month or year, you’ve lived well and shared well.

It’s a lot to absorb when you’ve looked at time a certain way for so long.  I’ll come back to this again.  But in the meantime, the husband came home with birthday cake.  So I’m headed that direction.

Got to fuel up for demolition day next Saturday…


2 thoughts on “23,376 Days

  1. It is a bit frightening, isn’t it, to lay out our days as a mathematical figure. We want to add emotion and drama and well, life. Which is the reality? As you said, “All of it.”
    Thanks for the reminder to be aware and live my days more fully.


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