Wednesday, August 16, 2006


Talking last night to friends about the balance of thought -- analytical, task-driven, haphazard, pin-ball kind of thought and dreamy, fleeting, intuitive, meditative kind of thought. There are some who claim the second kind, called tortoise thinking, is actually more productive and efficient than the stop-and-start rushing of the hare. Think: slow and steady wins the race.

In the same vein, having finished most of my responsibilities from school and teaching this summer, I find myself wondering how to structure my life in the months and years ahead. I sense a window of opportunity to do things differently. Do them differently every day as a matter of practice until the way I want to live is in fact the pattern of my life that doesn't take much effort to continue. Think: Newton's First Law -- bodies in motion tend to stay in motion.

What is it I want my life to be? What percentage of my year or my day should be given over to which things? In an ideal world, I would be teaching in a university setting 25-50% of my time, practicing as a planner/facilitator 25% of the time, and working creatively -- maybe teaching or maybe just writing the other 25%.

If that's the goal, how best to get there? Dividing my days doesn't seem to happen. I have friends who set aside time every day for each of their priorities: so much time for writing, so much time for conversation with friends, so much time for study, so much time for exercise -- and then everything else that life piles up on you.

With a 40-hour job at a desk, that doesn't seem to work for me. So for now, it's about splitting up my week. Yoga Mondays and Wednesdays. Tuesdays for running and outside work. Thursdays for friends. Fridays for dates. Weekend for family, work, creativity.

Reading doesn't seem to happen, unless I can get less sleep.

If there is more than I want to fit in, how does that happen? Early mornings seem unrealistic. Late nights, nothing seems as healthful as going to bed.

I know that if I don't take measures now to structure my life the way I want it, twenty years will pass before I know it, and I'll be fat, lazy, and stupid. That's my fear, anyway.

Just sitting here, the impediments to a healthy life flood my mind:
  • Not having a bedroom and therefore no reading lamp by the bed
  • Not being able to get up early
  • Not having laundry done for running clothes
  • Rainy nights that make running seem ... less than fun
  • Not having access to gym or pool (ah, to be a student...)
  • The cyclical guilt of friends or reading (if I'm doing one, I feel bad about not doing the other, ad infinitum)
I know the solution is just to do it. But life just seems to keep happening. Enter the flip side of Newton's first law: An object that is not moving will not move until a force acts upon it. It's always harder to get the ball rolling than to keep it rolling.

Awareness is part of the battle. Desire another. Now: to act.

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