Darkness cannot drive out darkness;
only light can do that.
Hate cannot drive out hate;
only love can do that.
- Martin Luther King
Dominique White is a poet, lyricists, playwright and author. Her blog, Shine On, focuses on her personal outlook on many social, political, and faith related issues, as well as her journey to find herself and live her best life. She also shares some of her poetry with readers on her blog.
In January 2017, Dominique self-published her first book of poetry, titled Little Bits of Chocolate Drop, a compilation of poems recounting her journey to self-love, honoring the people who helped her along the way.
She currently lives in the United States and works as an Education Counselor at a university. Apart from blogging, writing, and reading, Dominique also loves to paint, watch television, and attend country music concerts!
May 1, 2017
Making the Days Count
Recently I have been reflecting on the quote, “Sometimes we’re all too quick to count down the days that we forget to make the days count.” I realize that I have been doing that a lot. I have just been doing what I have to do to make it to the next day, to make it to the weekend, without really taking stock of what I have been accomplishing, or not accomplishing, each day.
That, I realize, is a wasted day, and too many of those can lead to a wasted life. To feel as if you have accomplished nothing significant, whether big or small, is sad. I never realized the truth in that statement until now.
I can come up with plenty of excuses for why I have slipped into this habit. Such as how I recently experienced the death of my oldest sibling; or how I recently went through significant changes in my employment situation. I am going through a lot of changes as it relates to the future of my chosen career. I could go on and on about why I have just been counting the days instead of making the days count. But, in the end, no matter how valid my reasons, it still feels like I have been taking the gift of life for granted.
Each week I set elaborate plans, starting with writing out To-Do lists on Sunday of all the things I want to accomplish throughout the week. I tell myself that I’m going to write. I tell myself that I’m going to paint. I tell myself that I’m going to read something educational. I tell myself that I’m going to read the Bible more than just on Wednesdays and Sundays. I tell myself that I’m going to pray more.
These are the things that typically make me feel as though I am making my days count, as if I’m living with purpose, and living on purpose. However, I rarely ever get through half the list. Most of the items get put off for the next day, which so easily turns into the next week and before you know it, I feel like I have done nothing for three months.
I read about this all the time, about how much stress your generation is under, and I wonder how many of you realize the toll that stress can take on the body, mind, and, spirit. When I get stressed, I can feel drained for months at a time. It can leave me feeling disconnected, unmotivated, tired, and worn out.
A while back, I had even gotten physically sick and could not figure out what was going on. I went to several doctors and no one could tell me anything. Though I eventually got an answer, I know the root of my sickness came from stress. It came from just existing and not really living; from simply counting days instead of making days count.
Aside from how this weighed on my body, it weighed even more on my mind. I couldn’t turn it off. Sleep alluded me. When I was worried about one thing, three other concerns reared their heads. Before long, all I could see was problems. All I could think about was what I hadn’t done, still needed to do, and what I probably would never do.
But instead of clocking in and taking control of my life, I just continued to waste time. I had gotten so comfortable in this pity party I was throwing, that I couldn’t dig myself out of it. In the Bible, Philippians 4:6 says, “Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything.” I give that advice often to everyone in my life, but as I’m sure you know, it’s easier said than done.
My spirit, the most important part of my being, was suffering too. I hadn’t said or heard an encouraging word in so long that I forgot what encouragement sounded like. When others tried to help , I tuned it out. I was not hearing it, for as the bible tells us in 1 Corinthians 2:14, “The person without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God but considers them foolishness, and cannot understand them because they are discerned only through the Spirit.”
It was as if the Bible was suddenly foreign to me, as were the spiritual books, tapes, podcasts, videos, and other spiritual outlets I used to turn to, such as reading, writing, painting, fellowship and other activities.
Though I knew these things helped to clear my conscious so that I could make room to cultivate the highest form of myself, I had lost touch with them. I had even lost touch with God and the gifts that He bestowed upon me. I had lost touch with what made me whole. I had started counting the days instead of making the days count, and before I knew what hit me, I was no longer who I was born to be.
So, here I am now, reflecting and thinking about how I am going to change. Here, on the first day of May, I find myself realizing that I don’t have to wait until the New Year to begin again. Every day can bring a brand new start if you let it.
So, rather than create another To-Do list, I’m going to change who I’m being. I’m going to start living more intentionally. I want to live with purpose, and I want to live on purpose. I won’t let life pass me by anymore. I am going to stop just existing; stop putting off for tomorrow what could be done today. I’m going to accomplish something with every day that is gifted to me. It doesn’t matter how big or small.
I want God to use me until He has used me up. I want Satan to be alarmed when I rise because he knows that I’m going to give the world all I’ve got, and I’m going to do it praising, worshiping, and thanking Christ along the way. I want to walk in the fullness of who I am every single day that I am blessed to see. I’m not just counting the days anymore. I’m going to make the days count.