A life in the day


This was the title of an article I used to spend all week looking forward to reading come Sunday. It can be found at the very back of the Magazine supplement in The Sunday Times.  It would sometimes feature famous people but more interestingly every day people. It was an A4 piece on their average day and edited so it took on the same format each week. What time they woke, what they had for breakfast and so on.

I loved reading it. I would look forward to it week after week just to read how others lives were, their sunrise to sunset. I can still remember my favourite weeks, the one with the Bermondsey sewage worker and the one with the City based water dispenser worker amongst them. To read of others ‘average’ day I find fascinating, just to see how they live and what makes up the fabric of their routine and their livelihood.

So much so i wrote my own piece 7 years ago. When i worked in the City, before I was married and before i had children. I left it on file and thought no more of it.

I found it other day when tidying my writing files and was amazed to notice the difference in my life. Of course i can remember writing it, and how my life was, but to be transported back there by reading it, like a poignant smell or perfume can do, was much more powerful than i could have imagined. It is so easy to forget the mundane details that make up your day or routine and we don’t notice when they morph or change, at least i didn’t.

What struck me when re-reading my ‘Life in the day’ article was how much time for ‘Me’ I had, everything was done at my leisure. I could well have been an extra on Jersey Shore with the GTL lifestyle (that’s Gym, tanning, laundry to the uninitiated). I’m not quite sure i appreciated the expanse of ‘me’ time i had available, no wonder I was completely ill prepared for motherhood when it came. I had spent 33 years pleasing no one but myself. Sure i worked hard and was at work before 8.30am most days and not leaving until well after 6pm but the freedom afforded to a Lloyds Broker, who can come and go as they please during ‘market hours’ meant that i did A LOT of covert coffees, lunches and shopping trips. Working down the coal mine i was not.

Yet i never really appreciated all that i had at the time. I’m not sure i ever really lived in the now. It’s much easier to live in the future or the past but the now is something we all struggle with yet its the one place many philosophies and religions extol as the very definition of happiness. To live and breathe in the now is to appreciate what and who you are and have. To forgo anxiety and worry of what happened or could happen which ultimately will not change any future outcome merely serves to ruin the now. It makes perfect sense yet as individuals it’s really really hard to keep the mind from wandering this way.

I plan to write another ‘life in the day’ article for now and keep it alongside the original. It will be a good time capsule reminder of what my life was like now. I have no doubt all the worries and struggles i currently face daily will move on and morph into others but i sincerely hope i look back with renewed appreciation at my ‘life in the day’.



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