Days are vessels ready to be filled. | Courtesy

I expect too much from my days.

We all have had those unfor­get­table moments. I’ll always remember the day that I went to Dis­neyland for the first time, as all of the fanatic Mickey-obsessed kids probably do. My parents will always remember the day they said ‘I do,’ and made the lifelong promise to live and love.

And then there’s the day that my grandma died — deaths have their way of engraving their dates on our heart. Or, the day my dad came home and said he lost his job. I was 8‑years-old then, and I’m 19-years-old now — I still remember.

When we wake up each morning, our days are void. Nothing has hap­pened — good or bad. Each day is a vessel. Filling them is inevitable, and an empty day is impos­sible.

But too often, we com­plain about what fills them. At the end of the day, we crawl into bed and sift through the day’s hap­penings, recounting all the mem­ories we’ll quickly forget, all the things that have nec­es­sarily — or unnec­es­sarily filled our vessel.

Maybe we remember the moment when we sat in the library for four hours and only typed one page of our 10 page paper assignment. Or the time we stood in the middle of the crowded cafe­teria for 10 minutes looking like lost kids when in reality, we were just annoyed that people were sitting in a two person booth by them­selves.

Then comes the long-awaited dec­la­ration: “Today was a good day.” Or, God forbid, “Today was rough.”

Our con­cep­tions of our days are far too shallow. We pine over these aggra­vating moments throughout out the day — up until the end when we secretly hope that tomorrow will be better. But then we live the next day the exact same way: remem­bering the moments when things didn’t go the way we wanted them to, and for­getting the times when they did. These kinks in our days — the often-insignif­icant irri­tants — trample over the sweet moments we non­cha­lantly expect to fill our days. I suppose we like a hearty routine.

Last summer, I traveled as a camp coun­selor and talked to a lot of girls about a lot of things. But I lis­tened, too. I don’t think I’ll ever forget Nina. Her brother had died from cancer seven months prior, but as she told me this, she smiled through the tears that cloaked her eyes.

“Sofia, the day he died, that wasn’t a bad day,” Nina said. “I guess I don’t believe in bad days, because every day that I’ve lived, even on a day like that, I’ve seen at least one good thing that’s hap­pened in it.”

I’m certain the day Nina’s brother died was nothing short of an over­flowing vessel. A day filled with inex­plicable sorrow; a day where all their cher­ished mem­ories together sud­denly clashed with the reality that there wouldn’t be any more.

But Nina embraced this vessel. I doubt she woke up expecting it to be the adventure of a lifetime, or a day in which every­thing would go as planned. But when there was a 30-second oppor­tunity to laugh or a chance to eat a home-cooked meal made by dear family friends, she grasped onto these rar­ities — and gave thanks for them too.

Our days are vessels, yes — but they carry mem­ories, gifts, and moments that we’re fools to think we deserve. We will never be fully sat­isfied with the lives we live — that’s the reality of a day that’s filled with good and the bad. Sure, we could con­tinue to live each hour for the next best thing; we might get some­where, someday.

But as for me, I want to remember the time I walked outside after class and was invited into a frisbee game with people that I didn’t know, but who wanted to know me. I don’t want to forget the unex­pected hug that my friend gave me when she saw my tired and tearful eyes, or the moment when I walked into my professor’s office expecting to have a per­cussion lesson, only to sit and laugh while lis­tening to our favorite songs.

These days — these mundane Mondays and Tuesdays and Fridays — they’re worth remem­bering. Keep them in your heart — they go by quickly.