Thoughts of the day
This year, I accidentally ordered the wrong yearly planner, and received the monthly instead of weekly version. This means a spread of two pages contains an entire month instead of a week, every day just a little square. I decided to keep it, since it forces me to have a big-picture view of how I plan and spend my time.
While company goals are usually set against quarters, the same does not have to apply to personal goals. Quarterly targets can be great for hitting short-term deliverables, even if they can lead to what is known as ‘snacking,’ getting the satisfaction of something being achieved within a short period of time, while the elephants are still lurking in the room. This is the double pace of the passing of time, of work, and of life, what we do daily, and how the dots eventually connect.
What if we start planning our non-working time, not against time as we humans have designed it, but against its more natural flow? Not by the hours and minutes, not by the weeks, but by the seasons, the light and the dark.
In the opening chapter of Through the Looking Glass, Lewis Carroll wrote:
“I wonder if the snow loves the trees and fields, that it kisses them so gently? And then it covers them up snug, you know, with a white quilt; and perhaps it says, ‘Go to sleep, darlings, till the summer comes again.’”
As we wait for the physical and metaphorical snow of winter to pass, some of us already emerging from it, we can learn not to be so hard on ourselves if progress is not daily, or even yearly. Not every day has to contain an achievement. We can set monthly goals and five-year goals. Perhaps we can measure out our life with coffee spoons.
Similar to how the best meals are the ones that are cooked with local, seasonal ingredients, eating advice can become living advice. The weeks will not disappear or change, nor will the hours. But we can let the pace and flavours of life vary.
As Haruki Murakami wrote, “With luck, it might even snow for us.”
Ansel Adams’ Winter Yosemite Valley photograph, made in 1933, is almost abstract. But with close attention and patience, the shapes of the trees begin to appear.
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Such lovely food for thought here, thank you. What a happy mistake! You reminded me to stop and think about my day, week, month and in fact, my life really. The eternal need to rush against linear time 🕰️ And the desire to re-read ‘Through the Looking Glass’ as that was now many many years! I love too the passage you quoted and the art.