How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives. ~Annie Dillard
Defining "real life" is like trying to describe a painting. There are some components which are factual like the medium used, the size of the canvas, the colors (spent X hours at work, spent Y hours on the beltway, ate this or that, took photographs or did not take photographs). But a painting is a complex interaction between the artist's interpretation of a subject or feeling and the viewer's interpretation of the artist's final outcome. Real life is an interaction of our daily routine, our aspirations, and exchanges with the people we encounter.
Most days my real life could be simplified to a routine of: sitting in traffic, fixing printers and network connections at school, sitting in traffic again, making dinner (okay, more realistically, providing dinner prepared by Whole Foods), watching an hour of TV, blogging and going to bed to begin the routine all over again. But is that my real life? God, I hope not.
My daily real life is rather: listening to my favorite music on the car CD player or learning something new on NPR, helping a frustrated teacher be able to successfully use a mobile lab to teach an engaging lesson and chatting/laughing/empathizing with Raychelle, listening to more music and reflecting on my day or talking to a friend on my cell (which I know I shouldn't do while driving but I do), spending time with my husband with sometimes more or sometimes less discussion but being with him all the same, sharing my thoughts with myself and my friends on line, and sleeping contently because I am so fortunate to have a husband, children, family and friends that I cherish and depend upon.
But maybe the routine of daily life doesn't seem so mundane because I often interrupt it with travel or trips to museums, or photo adventures, or fun with friends I don't see as often as I'd like. In those terms, I have had the pleasure of painting a masterpiece this weekend. I am combining them all on my trip here in Chicago with a friend I haven't seen since college. Much of what Lynn and I have discussed has dealt with catching up on our "real lives" I suppose and of course, like everyone else, we have both had our triumphs and trials. But this weekend, our real life is all about friendship and fun (oh, and food too).
Credits: Lynn took the photo!