Tag Archive | time

This is the End

It’s the common refrain this time of year. Every year, really, but this year, more than any in my memory, feels mores. In some ways, it’s big picture stuff – the end of democracy, maybe? In other ways it’s related to personal loss, to the closing of a Very Busy Year, or even just to the fact that Winter has finally come to Wisconsin (three degrees Fahrenheit right now – brr!).

The thing is…nothing is actually ending. It’s all changing.

In a way, that’s worse. We’re really used to the three-act drama, the introduction, the complications, the resolution, and roll credits! It gets messier when we realize that after we count down to midnight on December 31st, there’s not going be a pause before the next tick as 2018 comes barreling towards us.

The Clock Doesn’t Care

A friend of mine created “dumpster fire” ornaments for 2016, when everyone was astonished at the political landscape. It seems such an innocent time, now, as we come to the end of 2017, and she remarked to me once that she’d made the mistake of putting the wrong year on the ornaments.

The reality is, though, you could put any year on those ornaments and someone would nod and say “Yep. That was a bad one.” Our reliance on arbitrary demarcations of time means that there is a cruel and unyielding taskmaster looking at us in the mirror.

The clock? The calendar? They don’t care. Ask any entrepreneur (or parent) if Saturday and Sunday are automatically “days off” (and prepare for their laughter, and perhaps their tears). Five pm doesn’t care if you’ve been working all day (he writes at 5:45 pm after working all day).

If you’re feeling time pressure, it’s because you are putting it on yourself. That may be ingrained from years in a particular occupation, it may be enforced by children or pets, or it may just be your own drive to squeeze more out of the day. It’s part of what makes this particular time of year confusing – as TechnicallyRon tweeted:

Hacking Your Life Time

Since the clock doesn’t care about you, that means you get to choose how you care about it. It’s a good time to decide what 2018 will mean to you. Can you take the things that were bad in 2017 and relegate them to that metaphorical dumpster fire? What are you taking with you into the next year — intentionally or not?

It’s a good time to start a journal — I always recommend the hand-held write-with-a-pen kind — but don’t wait for 2018 to start it. Start it tomorrow. Start it now. Want a writing prompt? Here you go:

On December 31, 2018, the start of your journal entry reads “Oh my god, this year was so much better than I expected.” Now, answer the question: Why is that?

It’s a good time of year to KonMari things — purge, get rid of, simplify — so that you start the new year lighter on your feet. Can’t find anything to get rid of? Maybe you don’t have enough! Start a list: The 2018 Survival Kit. Start adding all the things you wish you’d had in 2017, the things that would have helped you deal with life. Post the list somewhere people will see it, and let them know: Winter is coming…wait, no, winter is here, and that means 2018 is coming!

Me? Well, as I said, there’s a lot of feeling of loss this time of year for me, so I’m spending my time battening down the hatches — making sure things are where I need them, things like my yoga/meditation/journaling practice in the morning, my work, my friends, my family…and this, my blog.

If none of that works for you, well, maybe you should take the advice of a wise wolf:

Whatever you choose to take you out of 2017, I wish you well.

I’ll see you on the other side.

Spread Yourself Thick

My friend Michele Serchuk, a New York photographer, was talking with me about a new project of hers involving “modern fairy tales”. We were thinking of the ways that moral lessons were conveyed through the classic stories, and what modern lessons might be useful.

One in particular that came to mind was the idea of spreading yourself too thin. The danger of the Multi-tasking Monster, the Perfidy of Prowling Perfectionism, something like that. We speculated on the images that might illustrate the idea – something like the scene from the movie Brazil where a hero is overwhelmed by paper.

Shortly after that conversation I began Cal Newport’s new book, Deep Work. I have my own problems with Mr. Newport’s philosophy, but on the whole I agree that working in concentrated flow states is preferable to splitting attention and time among many different projects. Even worse is when you add in the distraction of social media, entertainment, the need to keep up and avoid FOMO, or whatever other demands you might put on yourself in your quest to be Good.

Or is that just me?

Regardless, I also noticed at the time that I was working on a whole lot of my own projects at once – not as many as my Ally, but still a lot. Meanwhile, there is one particular project that is looming on the horizon that required more immediate attention.

I realized that I had, thanks to Michele and Cal’s work, an early-warning sign and a chance to make a choice:

  • I could continue to work incrementally on many projects, making the one big one more stressful, making minimal gains on the others, and increasing the odds that I would either do them poorly or miss things altogether.
  • Or I could put all the other projects on hold, devote real time to both working on the main project and keeping myself rested and healthy and at the top of my game.

In other words, in stead of spreading myself thin, I could choose to spread myself thick over this one project and really bring it home strong.

Guess which one I chose?

Here’s my question: what do you have in your life that you could spread yourself thick on? Why not give it a try, and see how it changes the experience?

I promise, there’ll be plenty to thin you out later if you need it. Try some luscious focus, some decadent dedication to a single beautiful thing in your life. I think you’ll be glad you did.


I’d love to hear what you chose, and why you chose it.
Also, please send the post to a friend – the more the merrier!

The Love of the Author for the Writer

It’s really an imbalanced thing, the love the author has for the writer.

“Author” is one of those identity words that falls in the realm of things you can deserve after you’ve done a particular set of things. If you’ve given birth, you deserve the title “mother,” assuming what you’ve given birth to is a human being. If, on the other hand, you’ve giving birth to a book, then the title you get is “author”, and it’s a select few. It’s not a halfway thing, either; you either have written a book or you haven’t, and you are either an author or you aren’t.

Those who choose to take part in National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) are trying to earn that title. There is one way – and one way only – that you can earn it, and that is by assuming another title: writer.

Look, Ma, I'm an AUTHOR!

Look, Ma, I’m an AUTHOR!

In many ways, being a writer is easier than being an author, because you don’t have to have completed anything. You simply have to establish the habit of writing, and as I’ve amply demonstrated with years of writing this blog, that’s not that difficult. But there’s a reason that I’m not an author because of LoveLifePractice.com. Sure, I’ve written well over 100,000 words, but it’s not cohesive. I’m a blogger because of that. I’m an author because I whipped about 12,000 of those words into a beginning-middle-end and published it.

Check it out: The Meditation Manual. I’m pretty fond of it.

Loving the Real vs. the Imaginary

As many NaNoWriMo veterans will attest, it can be a difficult road. Trying to make your word count every day; resisting the urge to go back and edit; trying to explain to family, friends, total strangers in the coffee shop that you are writing. They do this, though, because of a love they have for the future version of themselves that they see, the one who may or may not be a writer but who is definitely an author.

The thing is, if you’re doing NaNoWriMo for the first time you have no idea of what it is like to be an author. You don’t actually know how it will change you (if at all). You aren’t in love with that author you hope to be; you are in love with the idea of the author you hope to become. There’s nothing wrong with that; like any hoped-for love, the reality is likely to be both more and less wonderful than one could imagine.

But picture with me the version of you that is the NaNoWriMo veteran – the person who, on November 31, triumphantly uploads the 50,000 words to the word count and earns their badge. That person exists; the fact that we can’t see them right now is simply because we’re stuck in this silly one-way time stream.

That person not only exists but they also have a very real love for you, the NaNoWriMo writer. And it’s not based on unrealistic hopes – it’s based on hard memories. They remember every time you said “no” to something that would take your fingers away from the keyboard; they smile when they remember how you struggled with that particular plot point, and grin when they remember the ingenious way you finally worked through it. They are grateful to you for the things you gave up, the work you put in, because quite literally they would not exist if it weren’t for you, Writer.

In those moments when you need a little pick-me-up, try to remember that: there’s an author somewhere in December who loves you for what you do. You can meet them, if you do just one thing:

Write.

Gray Miller •  LoveLifePractice.com

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How to Be a Time Lord

calendar-backgroundA while back I decided to shift my focus from “time management” to “time ownership.” I didn’t want to be a manager, shifting around other people’s resources, I wanted instead to own my time. I created my own “Maker Time” schedule, which blocked out four hours of work time in each of five categories first thing in the morning:

  1. Blogday
  2. Bookday
  3. Bizday
  4. Danceday
  5. Pod(cast)day

Guess what? It didn’t work so well.

The Vulnerable Priority

I found myself rarely actually spending the time working on the specific projects. The idea behind Blogday, for example, was to write all three weekly posts for this blog and schedule them. Danceday was meant to reconnect me with my love of the performing arts, reconnecting with fellow performers and teachers and using it to build a stronger connection for my Gray Miller Creative business.

Instead, I would do my Monday blog post on Monday morning (so far so good!) but then get put into email mode, or decide it was a good morning for a workout. I also had a large project (planning a convention in Austin Texas) drop into my lap, which was great – but which is a hydra of tasks, and there suddenly was always something else that needed focus. While I had decided that each day would have an important priority, I was not letting it actually be that – instead, I was letting the urgent things take precedence.

Focus Fatigue

Worse were the days when I did put in the full four hours of focus – because it was hard. Usually I would get a lot done, but I was pretty much useless for the rest of the day. Somehow the effort left me with the capacity for nothing more than watching TV. It was Decision Fatigue writ large, and I didn’t have the wherewithal to convince myself that I didn’t have it.

While reading through The One Thing by Gary Keller he mentioned the idea of “protecting” your time-blocks. That concept triggered a part of the whole Time-Lord metaphor that hadn’t really occurred to me. The duty of a Lord – at least in a Medieval context – was not just feasting and continuing the repression inherent in the system. It was also to protect the domain – from threats both foreign and domestic, to mix metaphors slightly.

Suddenly I realized that was what I’d missed. While setting up the boundaries of Maker Time was useful, I needed to patrol and protect those borders with a Trump-like zeal. Not only from external “urgent” distractions – I also needed to find ways to allow myself the internal resilience to not have that amount of focus ruin the rest of my day.

The Alliance of Guardians

It’s still a work in progress, but I’ve enlisted the help of a few techniques and reinforcements as I work towards a better guardianship of my time. I still haven’t gotten complete focus during those four hours – but what I have been doing is at least three pomodoro sessions per day focused on whatever subject is the priority. Using the “25 minutes on/5 minutes off” method has kept me from burning out, and I’m building up to a planned five pomodoro session per morning.

I’ve also asked Natasha, my partner, to help with the focus. Not on the Maker Time – not yet – but first, as an experiment, with my morning rituals. I wanted to do them every morning – yoga, meditation, journaling, deep reading – for a week straight, and more than that it was a week while I have been traveling. Usually I can keep the habit consistent when I’m at home, but on the road it’s pretty damn difficult. I told Natasha I needed her to help me remember to do them first thing in the morning, and among other motivations I authorized the use of full ice buckets to get me out of bed if necessary.

The result? I’m glad to say today is day seven of an uninterrupted streak of Morning Ritual.

The practice of time management is one thing – time lordship takes a veritable Tardis-full of tools and probably a companion or two to get to the places you want to go. I suggest you take a look at your own time, and see if there’s any areas that need a little more protection than others. Let us know how you shore up the bulwarks and what you do with your own Maker time!

Practicing Time Off

The gorgeous Chicago River Walk

The gorgeous Chicago River Walk

I hope you all (well, all U.S. readers, anyway) had a lovely Labor Day weekend! I certainly did, visiting a friend in Chicago and eating some delicious food and reveling in not working. This post is not a day late; I simply chose to celebrate Labor Day as it should be – by not laboring. It was also fun being around so many families and tourists and such, all enjoying the beautiful weather and sights. People really seemed to be enjoying the time off – which is kind of a weird thing to say, until you think of it as: here is a place where we can turn time off, at least for a while.

My parents lied.

For most of my life – well into my adulthood, in fact – I “celebrated” Labor Day the way my parents taught me: This is a day when you get to Labor! Time to work and catch up on things that you haven’t had time to work on before. So our Labor Days were things like painting the porch, or cleaning out the garage, or some major project like that. Sometimes we’d also do a cookout as well, but I really don’t remember much of those. I understand why they did it, I think – equal parts “free child labor” and “instill a work ethic in this lazy boy” – but it got me some weird looks from friends when they’d ask what I was going to do on Labor Day Weekend.

“Labor, of course,” I’d say.

It wasn’t until much later that I looked up the true history of Labor Day, and the fact that it celebrated unions. Regardless of how you feel about labor unions today, it’s pretty universally agreed that the way things “used to be” – child labor, working six days (at least) a week for ten to sixteen hours a day under unsafe conditions (which is actually redundant, as there isn’t a way to work six sixteen hour days in a row “safely”) was pretty horrible on individuals, on families, on communities, and on society. Unions were (and in many instances still are) a force behind changing that, and people gave their lives literally to facilitate change.

For those who fall more on the “management” side of the debate about unions, keep in mind that it was Henry Ford himself – no friend of the unions – who mandated a 40-hour work week and championed the idea of weekend traveling. He reasoned – quite accurately – that he needed to give his workers an opportunity to realize they wanted one of the cars he had them building. That’s also why he paid them higher wages, as well. It’s apparently a concept that many current captains of industry have forgotten (and work hard to make sure the rest of America chooses to forget, too) but it’s possible to give ourselves the benefit without their help.

Mandatory Time Off

In this hyper-connected and always-on world, it’s hard to find time off. This morning I was working online, using my happy pebble pomodoro app, and it signaled a five-minute “rest” period. I was in the tail end of an email, so I thought “Oh, I’ll just finish it and then rest.”

The next thing I knew my watch was signaling a return to “work” mode – I had let the email go into another email into a calendar scheduling into…until my “rest” time was done. I’d worked right through it. Could that have been a matter of “flow”? No, not at all, because I didn’t feel enervated and elated at the end – I just felt more tired. Flow states are when you do the work because you want to, not because you think it should be done. If the break time comes, and you look longingly at it – that’s a signal that it’s time to take a break.

Study after study after study after book after book after book reinforces: pushing through gives less accurate, less effective, and less productive results. If you take time off – if you make yourself create these little havens where your attention can go wherever it wants – you will get more done, you’ll be more happy when it is done, and you’ll be able to do it longer.

Make sure you remember that today, this “pseudo-Monday” as my friend called it. Yes, it’s time to get back to work – but you, and many people before you, have earned the right to a break, so don’t overdo it.

Take some time off, for all our sakes.

The Harsh Realities of Time and Space

Hope I have time to concentrate on these...

Hope I have time to concentrate on these…

A while back I talked about wanting to focus on mastering time. That’s as opposed to (as we call it) managing time. Trying to make our time “stretch” by chopping it into precise and smaller segments isn’t actually giving us more time, any more than chopping a pie into thinner and thinner slices can give us more pie. Author Tony Crabbe puts it this way:

Armed with gadgets, we have never been better equipped to “maximize our time.” Our ever-present phones allow us to fill all our time productively, to communicate in real-time, and to juggle multiple tasks, swatting away incoming demands like some super-charged task-ninja, potent and efficient…however, the real impact isn’t on our time, but on our attention. When we scatter our attention across a thousand micro-activities, we prevent ourselves from engaging deeply or thinking properly.

That’s kind of an ironic thing, too, since there is a documented way of stretching time – or at least your perception of it. In describing the eight phenomena associated with the state of flow, Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi noted “the sense of the duration of time is altered; hours pass by in minutes, and minutes can stretch out to seem like hours.” Get that? It’s not that we have more time (that’s impossible, unless you’re the Doctor or some other relativistic being). It’s that the sense of the duration of time changes. Kind of goes back to the whole “creating your own reality” idea.

Making Flow a Priority

photo courtesy Milena Radzikowska

photo courtesy Milena Radzikowska

Still, while it’s easy enough to talk about these things, it’s much harder to actually do them. I’m in the process of creating the instructor roster for an event next year; I had envisioned creating an application form and going through dozens of instructors, picking only the best. The reality is that I have five rooms and six class sessions, which means thirty classes total – and our guests of honor are already teaching 6 classes between them. That means there’s room for twelve more instructors, teaching two classes each…and suddenly instead of picking through a big pile I’m aware that I’m going to have to say no to some people that I’d really like to see teach. To make matters worse, for one class session I can’t find a way to make both lunch and a normal 90-minute period fit – so I have to shorten it to an hour.

Yes, it occurred to me that I could make a shorter lunch – but then I tried to remember, what is the priority for both experiences? Lunch is meant to be a bonding experience, a time of breaking bread together, where new ideas are shared and stories told. That doesn’t work so well in a time-pressure environment. On the other hand, the difference between a one-hour class and a one-and-a-half hour class is not actually that much, though it does require the instructor to be more concise. I don’t know about your experience with instructors at conventions, but I don’t really see that as a bad thing…

I’m still not very good at it – even while trying to “concentrate” on this blog post I was also making notes about other work and even communicating with other people (to be fair, one was about getting permission to use a picture in this post. But still.). That’s why I have the pomodoro timer on my wrist, tapping me every minute for a 30-hour block. It’s not meant to manage my time – my time is unmanageable, it goes on no matter what.

Instead, it manages my attention, a resource every bit as valuable as time, perhaps moreso. Because everyone has exactly the same amount of time allotted to them – but not everyone has the attention.

How are you going to manage yours?

Three Productivity-Producing Products

I talk a lot about various things I try out, and I don’t always follow up on how they work out. However, there are three things that I’ve been using that have really made a significant difference in the way I work, the things I accomplish, and more. I wanted to share them simply because one of the missions of this blog is to provide “practical tools to make hard times happier.” These three things definitely fall in that category. And yes, they are next to affiliate links, just so there’s full disclosure.

Using Pomodoro on my Wrist

Simple reminders are often the best.

1. Pebble: I was really lucky, in this age of Apple Watch envy (I’m looking at you, Will!) that a friend of mine upgraded his Pebble Watch and decided to let me take his old one for a spin. It’s like a minimalist smart watch – grayscale display, only one real color at the base model, and only eight “slots” for apps (as opposed to the thousands on the A.W.). But there are a few ways that it does some things that simply make life better:

  • I can push a button on my wrist and my phone starts beeping – no more “Where’d I put my phone?”
  • I can have directions on my phone (say, from Google maps) sent to my wrist. No more fumbling with my phone, no more voice interrupting my podcast listening…
  • I can remote-control the music playing on my phone, or answer the phone (especially handy if my phone isn’t ready to hand).
  • All the alerts are vibrating – which means my notifications no longer interrupt conversations, music, etc. Life is quieter.

It’s almost more useful in the things I can’t do. I can’t really surf the web. I can’t really look at pictures, or twitter, or read facebook. I can receive texts, but I can’t really reply to them (except maybe through the “Yo” app). And it has one killer app for me: a pomodoro timer, pictured at left. The screen slowly fills with black for 20 minutes, and every minute my watch “taps” my wrist – just enough to remind me to focus on work. Then it switches to “rest”, and so on – and when I stop it, it shows me how many cycles I did. This one tiny app has me doing more focused work than anything else.

productiveApp2. Productive (the App)A while back I was talking about how Chris Brogan recommended some “chaining” apps for habit change, and I mentioned I was going to give “Productive” a try (because at the base level it’s free). Turns out it’s a better app than I expected: multiple times I’ve only done whatever thing I was trying to keep a habit because of that annoying little colorful icon. It’s dead simple to create a habit, and to mark it off. Yes, you could do the same thing with a calendar, a notebook, a piece of paper – I’ve used all of those things, and this is the thing that’s worked the best, simply because it does one thing and does it very well.

3. KeySmart:  There’s a lot of talk these days about the idea of “microagressions“. One of the similar phenomena is what I call “microaggravation” – tiny inconveniences or frustrations inherent in the systems of your life that cumulatively build up to affect your mood and generally decrease your slack. One of the most effective triumphs over microaggravation I’ve found is the KeySmart. It’s simply this: when I come to my door, there is no searching for the key. None. I know exactly where each lock key is, and I just reach for it – no jangling, no searching, no nothing.

http://amzn.to/1L2F3hvI know. What’s the big deal, Gray? But I think that’s the thing about microaggravation: you don’t actually notice it until it’s gone. I didn’t realize how much it was frustrating searching for the right key until I borrowed Natasha’s keys one day. Suddenly my beautiful system was gone…and I realized how much I dreaded being back in the “where’s-the-key” zone. I wish – oh lord how I wish – that I’d had this back when my kids were babies. Groceries, kids, maybe a phone ringing and you’re trying to open the door? On the other hand, it means I’ll never have that scene in the thriller where the person is frantically fumbling for the right key on a large ring. Nope, I’ll just pop out the right one, and totally ruin the dramatic scene.

That’s ok with me.

Those are my three most practical tools for making life happier lately. What’s yours?

 

Practicing Slack

There's another key concept from the Scarcity book I'm listening to that is the second “game changer” in terms of how I look at the overall concept of meeting needs. It's the idea of slack.

The first thing to realize is that this is nothing to do with the term “slacker”; instead, think about having a lot of rope, both the stuff you're using and “slack” – i.e., the extra rope that you have on hand in case you need it.

According to the authors, one of the biggest reasons scarcity causes stress is because there is a lack of slack. Not that you don't actually have enough to meet your needs – rather, you don't have enough in the event that your needs change.

Sure, you could think about this as rich and poor – certainly a flat tire can be a minor annoyance to the wealthy but a possible eviction for the impoverished. But remember that scarcity applies to any resource you have feelings about – so time can have a lack of slack, or energy. The whole concept of “not having enough spoons” comes from the idea that some people have more slack available in terms of interacting with others.

Getting a Bigger Suitcase

The authors do a good job of describing the idea of slack in terms of suitcases. If I'm going on a trip with Natasha, we may be going the same place and doing the same things. She packs her small carry-on, and she's very careful with the choice of shoes, the way the clothes are folded around the toiletries, and whether or not to bring that extra sweater to fight the Baltimore chill.

 

Meanwhile, I'm packing my bigger suitcase, and while I may have the same items, I don't have to be as careful – I don't have to pay attention to how things are packed, and rather than being forced to choose between shoes I can just say Heck with it, I'll bring both. That's slack.

 

And it's what I'm working on right now as I fight the scarcity mindset. Where in my life do I feel scarcity? How can I build more slack into that area? Also, where in my everyday practice don't I feel the pressure, and how can I remember those places and be more grateful?

 

I'd be interested in knowing what kind of slack you have in your life – especially if you only just now realized it, like I did.

 

“Remember you can't have everything. Where would you put it?” – Stephen Wright

The Poverty of Time

In his groundbreaking work on the psychological implications of poverty, Sendhil Mullainathan found evidence that many lawmakers and social critics were mixing up cause and effect. Namely, it wasn’t necessarily that people were poor because of bad decisions or a lack of intelligence. No, instead he showed that even the idea of poverty could lower a person’s ability to make good decisions:

“Simply raising monetary concerns for the poor,” they explain, “erodes cognitive performance even more than being seriously sleep deprived.” They attribute this result to the maelstrom of problems poor people must suddenly confront in the face of a large unexpected expense: how will I pay the rent, buy food, take care of my kids? This round of mental juggling depletes the amount of mental bandwidth available for everything else.

It highlights what I think is one of the biggest differences between a scarcity and abundance mindset: in an abundance mindset, you expend your resources to get what you need, and there’s no worry about whether or not you’ll have enough. With scarcity, though, every thing you acquire means you have to give up something else. Colloquially it’s “Robbing Peter to Pay Paul“, and it’s part of the reason why check-cashing loan businesses are so successful.

“This type of high-risk borrowing seems ridiculous,” Mullainathan says, but “we wanted to prove that thinking like this doesn’t come from a lack of financial understanding or foolishness—it comes from putting out fires.”

In my opinion, he more than proves it (and thankfully many other organizations such as the U.S. Government and the World Bank think so as well) but you’ll have to read the excellent article over at Harvard Magazine to see what you think. That’s not what I wanted to talk about right now, though.

Wasting Time

What time is it?I had a bit of a eureka moment recently when I was trying to figure out why I have such difficulty creating leisure time for myself. I’m not alone; just recently a friend finished her PhD defense and asked me What does one do when you’ve reached the goal you’ve been focused on for the last six years?

I told her Pretend to rest on your laurels for as long as you can while sneakily looking around for the next goal. I knew better than to tell her to just rest, as she proved with her next message:

R. E. S. T…I don’t understand.

I put on my Personal Development Blogger hat: So, it’s kind of like pretending to be dead. As long as you can.

She, being an overachiever, gave the only reply she could: F*ck. Sounds horrible.

Why horrible? Simply enough, like me, she’s accustomed to the idea that any time spent on relaxing means time not spent doing something else. What is that something? Ah, that’s just it: the list is endless! Things that need to be accomplished, that need to be learned, that need to be fixed, that need to be acquired, or that need to be done to get the money to acquire the thing that will finally help us relax…that’s the drill.

And I can’t help but think that there’s some correlation to what Mullainathan talks about with the way our decision making gets worse the more we feel that time is scarce. It leads to impulse buys and drunk texts and Facebook updates that are regretted later, but that at the time had to be done.

Like many of my posts, this one is not going to end with a “here’s how to solve the problem” section. Not like I’d know! I’m sitting here wondering if I’m spending too long blogging and should instead be doing a yoga workout to stretch my bike-sore muscles while listening to the Japanese for Dummies audiobook. Or maybe I should be finishing up the upcoming LLP Guide to Meditation, or making packing lists for my upcoming trip to L.A. this weekend…no, I’m not one to say how to escape the Poverty of Time.

But I can tell you where I think some positive directions might lie: Meditation – for a half-hour or more. S.T.O.P. definitely helps with that. Cigars and fine port. Also spending time with grandsons making cardboard swords. Pick your remedy, and let me know how it works for you.

And hurry, ok? I’m not sure how long we’ve got…