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Monday, May 27, 2024
The Observer

The way you spend your days

“The way you spend your days is the way you spend your life.”

I have not stopped thinking about this quote since I first saw it. There is obviously truth in the quote, but something about the meaning challenges me to disagree. 

There is an obvious implication in this quote that you should not spend your days (and consequently your life) on trivial things. If you take a nap every day, go on your phone for hours or just sit around and twiddle your thumbs, this quote is implying that you are wasting your life. 

One of my high school teachers had the same ideology. He had us all pull out our phones, check our daily screen time and do the math to see how many full days out of the year that amounted to. Some people did the calculations to realize they spent 20 or more full days of their year on their phone. 

This exercise was a brutal wake-up call and this quote seems to be inciting the same reaction. However, I would like to argue that it is not all bad. 

Yes, it is undeniable that the way you spend your days amounts to the way that you end up spending your life, but that’s the thing: It’s your life. 

If I want to spend my summer days spending hours rereading my favorite books, that is my choice. If I want to unwind after a long day of classes by watching an episode of Gilmore Girls, I earned that. If I want to go on TikTok for 30 minutes before bed, I can make that decision. 

It is really hard for me to allow myself to have time away from work. When my friends want to do something, I sometimes feel the need to turn it down because I think it would take time away from the things I need to get done. If it is not something that will help me be productive, it feels useless. In the end, I always end up accepting the invitation, and I never regret it. 

These activities can easily be seen as a waste of time. In fact, a lot of the time I recognize I am wasting my own time on these endeavors. But can anything really be a waste of time if it brings us joy?

By no means am I saying people should spend 20 hours a day on a meaningless app. It is important that we still work hard and set ourselves up for a good future and people should clearly spend time with those that they care about. There are certain activities that are vital to a meaningful life. 

That being said, everyone deserves to live their life in a way that makes them happy. If you would like to spend 20 days of your year on your phone, who am I to judge?

Life truly is what you make of it.

That being said, make it what you want.

The views expressed in this column are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.