I am back in productivity mode. Back in NYC. Counting the hours. Panicking here and there about how fast they are going and how little I've gotten done. In that spirit, here's a post from my cousin Leah Fisch (have mentioned her here before) - Productivity Hacks that seem super-useful to me for anyone, not just entrepreneurs. Let me know what you think.
I just flashed back to a moment in August, 2010, that first year I started this blog, when we came back from one trip and had only a couple days before another and how weird and jaggedly out of place that in-between time felt.
The blog (my life?) had such a different feel and pace and momentum that summer six years ago. It had a frantic, neurotic feel to me, those posts reflect it, like I had something to prove or something to establish...an argument I was jumping in on and trying to make...a lot more people openly following me at least based on the comments...back when I would post on Facebook...a public conversation, a different kind of attention...almost like the story mattered more back then and now the thoughts matter, like they've floated away into some other space. Back I was much more externally-focused, jacked up, hooked up, holding on to outdated networks, and now I feel like I have at least begun to turn inward, which of course is really a return.
I am so much more accepting of slowness. Not just wanting to join a buzzword or buzzworld of "slow living" or "slow parenting" or minimalist living or whatever scene we might imagine to be out there, but really, truly, accepting of what it means to slow down, to, as my friend Heather says, "de-busy." That doesn't mean that I succeed in it even once a day. But it does mean that I feel a completely different relationship now to "living the question" as Rainer Maria Rilke wrote and I quoted just recently here.
Jung, too, writes "The serious problems in life are never fully solved. If ever they should appear to be so it is a sure sign that something has been lost. The meaning and purpose of a problem seem to lie not in its solution, but in our working at it incessantly." I am happy now to work at it incessantly. With or without clear progress. With or without validation.
In 1973, May Sarton wrote about the difficulty of living her dream, solitary and reflective life: "It has harder than it used to be because everything has become speeded up and overcrowded. So everything that slows us down and forces patience, everything that sets us back into the slow cycles of nature, is a help. Gardening is an instrument of grace."
If I have time tonight, I will stop by the garden. I will check on the Cosmos Alex thought was terrible-tasting dill. I'll water the lavender, which grew huge and lush this year, which gave us lovely bouquets Wally brought to grandmother in Massachusetts. I will check on the swiss chard, and see if it's ready to eat before we leave for Seattle on Wednesday. And I will see if the beans have finally started to climb.