Too many people end their day in the same way they began it: rushed and hurried, anxious and worried.
Think about it: it’s a cultural norm to wake up to an alarm clock or some song on the phone. And whether we roll out of bed, groaning, or sit bolt upright, heart racing, we too often start the work day in a totally unnatural way.
But . . . that’s our norm.
So it is with ending the day: we have been in a state of rush since untangling ourselves from the bed clothes, gulping down coffee, applying makeup in the car, and literally driving ourselves through the day. When we get home, there’s more to do, all the mistakes of the work day to review, tomorrow’s obligations to plan and worry about and add to our fretting.
And while this is our cultural norm, it doesn’t have to be our personal one.
The woman in the artwork, Ending the Day on a Good Note, has just come home from her day at work. Her clothes place her sometime in the 1940s so her job, we imagine, has something to do with the War Effort.
And while movies make anything to do with the U.S. during World War II seem noble, it’s highly likely that her job was unsatisfactory, vaguely boring, and not something she would choose to do with the precious hours of her life.
What she does choose to do — once she is home and mistress of her own time — is to take things slowly, to relax, to listen to music that gives her pleasure, and to experience a sense of quiet, contentment, and satisfaction.
Oh, there are always more things to do, and like any resident of a highly corporate, business-driven society, she knows this. But wisely, she recognizes that life is not meant to be lived at high speed, in a constant state of anxiety and worry, a continuous drive to do more, work harder, be smarter.
Life, rather, is meant to be lived.