As I was watching the chair lifts make their circuitous journey up and down the mountainside, I started thinking about time. It was Day 2 of our holiday ski trip, and I was relegated to the hotel room due to a wicked fall that dislocated my shoulder and had me in queue for yet another MRI and possible surgery. With 2022 having been filled with exams, surgery, and rehab from a torn rotator cuff, I was back on a self-inflicted hamster wheel of pain and frustration.
With fresh snow falling and no distractions, time slowed, and I became a bit more conscious of how I’ve been spending it. Some professionals think in seconds, minutes, and hours, yet most of us tend to wake up and wonder where the days, weeks, and months have passed. At work, we often mindlessly move from meeting to meeting and pray for the time to “actually get some work done”, let alone practice any form of self-care. And despite the attempted ‘calendar purge’ from some experimental organizations, most of us tend to give this most precious commodity away liberally on a daily basis.
We know this; yet, we keep doing it. As Thoreau said, “It is not enough to be busy. So are the ants. The question is: What are we busy about?”
As January (shockingly) comes to a close, ask yourself what you are busy about. Question with whom and for what purpose do you give away your time. Protect your calendar whenever possible through self-scheduling. And perhaps most importantly, don’t tell anyone what you’re doing and why you’re doing it. The moment someone realizes you have a system for slowing down to rise up, they will impose upon it at will. It will be our little secret, and we’ll all be better off for it.
With warm regards,
— Mark Stelzner
Founder/Managing Principal/Crash Test Skier, IA