From old French poets to Mick Jagger, we have a long legacy as humans of wanting more, or different. And we are rarely content, echoing Goldilocks as we spin through life… too hot, too cold, too big, too small. A big part of life is learning how to discern good decisions from bad, but along the way we are taught to judge endlessly, and sometimes harshly. Whether a person or a job or a meal or an investment, we are trained to see the flaws more clearly than the attributes.
Summer in New England is fleeting, and sometimes this seems to add pressure instead of pleasure. Can I see all the friends I want to see this summer? Can I take all the different hiking trails? Can I go to all the concerts, all the picnics? Can I read all the books?
Oh, what awful questions these are! When the question is “all,” the answer is eternally “no.”
This week I made a calendar of the summer, trying to juggle logistics and squeeze all the seasonal things into the little squares. After an hour I was irritated because, of course, all the things did not fit. And I was tired just looking at the jam-packed squares. So I erased and erased, reluctantly, until there was some white space left, the kind of space where there is a day or an hour or even a single moment to take a breath, gaze at a flower, read a poem.
When Goethe said, “Every second is of infinite value,” he did not mean, “…so you should be so busy that you require 3 different calendar apps to keep track of your schedule.” When Franklin said, “Time is money,” he did not mean, “…so be sure to maximize your billable hours.”
There is never enough time, which curiously means, that there is always enough time.
Dear friends, may we invest in this day, knowing it is enough.
* This week’s reflections are dedicated to my grandmother Collins, who would have been 100 years old this weekend. She taught me about devotion and determination and gratitude, and left us with a dozen different recipes for Irish bread, just to keep us all guessing.