You know, time really is passing us by, and while I’m sure you’re making great progress I wonder if you could be harder on yourself for your own good. I say this because I want us to be successful, the both of us. I’d really like for you to evaluate everything you do, everything you spend your time on, and see if it’s getting you closer to your goal or not. If not, cut it out, and re-examine every so often.
My longtime friend Aisha sent that to me in an email last month. I’ve been thinking about it ever since.
She’s not the first to say something like that to me, and I’d had similar thoughts myself. But some revelations are like jars with the lids screwed on too tight: you’ve got to pass the jar around and have everyone give a twist, until finally it’s loose enough and someone manages to open it.
This jar is now open.
Like a scented candle, the revelation has been subtle but sweet, slowly spreading through the air, filling me more with each new breath. I haven’t cut much out yet — in fact, I added in piano practice and Chinese lessons — but I’ve been considerably more careful with my time. Guarding it like the precious resource that it is. Giving less of it to the internet and more of it to my manuscript. Spending less of it half-engaged and more of it fully committed.
It’s funny how time can seem bigger that way.
What I didn’t want to do was make a bunch of drastic changes and then find myself unable to stay committed to them. Instead I’ve been letting Aisha’s suggestion seep into me, like a plant soaking water up through the roots so that it can grow strong in the right direction. (Lots of metaphors today…) Only time will reveal what blossoms, but I’m optimistic.