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Nighttime trees

"The days are slow, but the weeks are fast."

This advice was offered to me during fall term, and I've since quoted it a dozen times, and thought it daily. You may have heard that terms at Dartmouth are "sprints." Certainly, at times that is how they feel. 

At the end of the day I'll think back to what I had for breakfast and wonder, "Was that today?" But at the end of each week I look behind me with the sense of having run a race without realizing it, my bewilderment defying the calendar date which, yes, sometimes I feel compelled to double-check. 

Happy February, by the way!

Still, it can be a source of consternation that the day can feel like a compilation of snapshots. A cozy cup of green tea in my room sometimes feels like a precursor to a marathon rather than a cherished ritual. I'll catch myself thinking, "In an hour I'll be taking notes," or imagining the feel of the wind on my face and wondering whether I will regret omitting a hat for the day… before the day has even begun. If there's one sure way to squander a day, it's by worrying about the future. Becoming a college student has made this more difficult to remember. 

Any of my friends could attest to the planner I keep on hand, flicking through it as one might an old Farmer's Almanac, trying to divine the future through class schedules and meetings. While I'm a big fan of an organized schedule, I'm also learning how to respect the world outside the land o' lists. My college life can seem like a disjointed, airbrushed, gapped summary of what a day really is. "Science assignment" "Quizlet" "Wash dishes" "Office Hours" "Study for hours" –what kind of reality is that? It isn't! 

Do you know what I've realized? When I close my eyes at the end of the day, visions of checkmarks don't dance in my head. Rather, I try to recall every positive moment of the day, every friendly smile, every correct answer, every shaft of sunlight through an obliging window. That which my planner omits, I try to preserve. And the fact that I'm willing to entrust some details to paper but hold tightly to others reminds me of the pursuits from which I derive joy. 

In summary, for this post I am rejecting the idea of a "snapshot." Because I'm rejecting the idea of living in a series of them. 

I'll get back to pictures next week. But for now, I'm trying to remember—as I hope you readers already know—how fun it can be to embrace every moment, the boring ones, the light ones, the "unproductive" ones, the friendship-filled ones, and especially the peaceful ones. 

Cheers to all of you, and here's hoping you fill that empty space in your planner with things that fill you up and bring you joy. 

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