I am reading (like many people) Four Thousand Weeks. That and other similar resources have sharpened my awareness of how little time we have when compared to all the things we could do.
That feeling is especially acute right now, in March. This is when some of my favorite seasonal events happen:
- Building a luminary for Ann Arbor’s FoolMoon festival
- Making maple syrup from sap
- Competing in Kaggle’s March Madness machine learning prediction contest
- Starting seeds indoors for the garden
I’ve done all of those things at various times in the past. Never all in the same year, tellingly. Maybe it’s the pull of the longer days and warmer weather that has me wanting to embrace all of these March traditions at once.
But I’m trying to accept that there’s not time to do them all. And that if I’m not doing them, it’s by choice, as I’m focused on other things. Things that I’d rather be doing. Right now that’s two big ones, in addition to family and work: trying to finish the draft of my novel (I’m back on a small writing streak and determined to see it through!) and coordinating an April tree planting at my kids’ elementary school.
(We won a modest grant from the county to plant a bunch of fruit and native shade trees on the grass-ridden property. Now I must see that through properly, with community participation. Maybe I’ll write that up separately.)
Those things should be finished by the end of April. Then I can turn toward other fun things.
For now, I’ll make peace with not doing my favorite things listed above. I’ll wave hello to them as they circle past me in the dance of time. They’ll come back around next year and maybe my dance card will have room for them then.
Some of those things aren’t all-or-nothing. Those I can experience in a lighter way. I’ll still garden, but I’ll plant whatever starts I can get instead of starting my own seeds. And we’ll still attend the FoolMoon parade and party, toting an old luminary or no luminary at all. Perhaps my eleven-year-old can build one on her own over spring break.
Now to practice being at peace with all the things I can’t do and feel gratitude for the wondrous things that do fill my days.