I’m writing this near a hideaway campground I found near Capitol Reef National Park. I took a few days off this last week, not just physically but mentally as well — something I haven’t done in six months and something I think I have never actually done well.
So, I am nostalgic. Bear with me.
Someone I highly respect said once that as you get older you start experiencing what he calls “long days and short years.”
I am starting to understand some of that.
I wonder if this same sentiment is echoed in Robert Frosts’s Stopping By Woods on a Snowy Evening where he laments how many miles to go he has before he sleeps, and in Five for Fighting’s “100 Years” (YouTube) remarking how he is chasing the years of his life and speaking back to his fifteen-year old self telling him he’s got plenty of time ahead.
I saw this sentiment come up again in a different way recently when @ShaneAParrish quipped “We waste years because we cannot waste hours.” *
And I am reading Four Hour Workweek for the first time (yes, late bloomer, I know) and considering his admonition that we should take Fridays off, even if we “work” but focus on self-work or learning new things, and that compressing our work is better for us than relentlessly trying to hustle for more, more, more and more.
So, as I pack up to take my remote trailer office home today, I am pondering the value of just unplugging and letting things that I have built on over weeks and months and years “fend for themselves” for a few days.
And nothing blew up — that I know of.
And I am fresher and more excited about the good things I need/get to do.
And I am also more keenly aware of the endless loops I get myself into where there is a lot of hustle but no production — a lot of noise but little signal.
And a resolve to do better about breaking that cycle. Now.
Partly by forcing myself to waste some hours in the week. On purpose. So I can ALIGN myself better with what I want to DO, which I am decoupling from (and still appreciating the overlap in) what I do for money.
What are you doing to not waste your years?
— — —
By Robert Merrill, written near Capitol Reef National Park, Utah, USA
*The debate in the comments to this tweet point to the idea this sentiment was previously noted by the late Amos Tvsersky, whose Nobel-prize winning work I love, though I admit I like Shane’s packaging better.