Get your motor runnin’, Day 9: First gear also works


I won’t lie: I’m not used to this kind of pace.

It’s been a while since I’ve been this prolific. If ever. And I’ve never been this old while trying to be this prolific, that’s for sure. Hard-won skills are worth something, but sometimes nothing beats the sheer boundless energy of youth.

I have to remind myself that moving slowly is okay, too. Some days, today, for instance, might be more for catching up with emails and reading and other digital housekeeping. Even though as a freelance type I set my own hours, the rest of the world has demands during the week and some inevitably seep through.

I also have to remind myself that this is the end of the very first work week of the new year. Not that I think any part of this year will be about coasting, but I do hope to build up some work callouses, as it were. And better habits. I’ve already seen that I must needs reserve certain hours of the day for certain heavy-lifting tasks, and push the rest off until later.

But all the scheduling, good habits and discipline in the world aren’t going to change the fundamental truth of the next few weeks: I’ve got a lot on my plate, possibly more than I can reasonably do in the time allotted. Or do well, anyway.

It’s too late for now, but for 2010 (now there’s a scary round number for you) I would like to propose we not attempt to front-load all of our networking in the first four weeks of the year. There are 48 more of the buggers, after all, just waiting for us to get together, mix it up and DO stuff.

In the meantime, I will make the humble suggestion that we each put aside one or two days to move a little more slowly than the others. For me, this means no phone calls, no meetings and at least a short evening constitutional. For you, this may mean no serious writing, no errands, no cooking. I’m guessing each of us feels pressure slightly differently. And yes, many of us have always-on obligations; after spending some quality time with The BF’s progeny, I’m always reminded of the miracle that is getting ANYTHING done while simultaneously raising children. So you know, I will never, ever judge the cleanliness of a house with young children in it again. (At least, until a rat runs over my foot or something. There are limits.)

Moving at a snail’s pace is also moving. It will get me there. And as Merlin says in a lovely interview with Leo Babauta, pushing through the exhaustion is not always the wisest move. Sometimes the wisest move is a short walk. Or a short post.

A short post for a long week.

Up and at ’em again tomorrow…


Image by suika*2008 (out) via Flickr, used under a Creative Commons license.


  1. That’s a great saying, Kare. And I’m halfway through Leo Babauta’s new book, Less Is More, right now; you guys may just have something with this Singular Purpose thing…

  2. I can so relate to your philosophy. I have felt like my life is sometimes a mindless race and not sure why everything must be hurried along so much. Over the last couple of years, I routinely let voicemail pick up, set aside time to read and write at my leisure and go on hikes and breathe deeply. I have also really tried to listen to my sons when they talk to me, as well as my husband (most of the time?) I find my self more relaxed and calm and happy. Good life.

  3. Since research has shown that we can’t multitask and do our best in any of the fora we frequent, giving it the old Zen balance of focus and relaxation sounds like the healthiest, and most potentially productive state.

    Hear, hear!

  4. Susan – I learned the voicemail trick a long time ago, so much so that it feels remarkable to pick up the phone and hear a live voice on the other end. The setting-aside-time thing I’m still working on. I’m guessing I will be, too, for a while. But from the glimpses I get, yes, good life.

    Claudia – Agreed. Also, your use of “fora” knocks my shit flat out. Well done.

  5. I’m feeling this, too, as evidenced by my uber-lame post yesterday. It is a real stretch to maintain this level of consistency, and that’s how I know it’s going to do me a lot of good to just keep on keepin’ on. It will be interesting to see where things sit at the end of the 21 days.

    As for taking one or two days more slowly … I dream of just one day, once in a blue moon, of zero responsibilities. As a mother of a toddler, along with everything else, it’s just not going to happen. Slowing down, though, that’s possible. Thanks for the reminder.

Comments are closed.