You wake up at 8 a.m. You get ready for work, you grip the steering wheel and yawn into your coffee cup. You shuffle through papers at your desk and you look out the window at the world shuffling through people on the sidewalk. You come home and maybe there’s food waiting for you, maybe there’s a dog happy that you’re home, maybe not. You watch the television and dive into an emotionally charged series with dragons and empires, or hackers and revolutions. But you pay no mind–the show is interesting, but it’s not real life. Those are other worlds.

This is real life:

You wake up at 8 a.m. the next morning. You put on the tie or the hard-hat and you yawn into your coffee cup. You grind it out. Every day you grind it out and every day it’s the same.

You remember the old days. Maybe you talk about them with your friends over beers, maybe with your wife as she cycles through titles on TV to figure out what to watch next. You speak of days that, for some reason, just matter more than the days do now. If you were to hold them side by side, those old days would be so much bigger than the small days defined by that daily, repetitive grind.