Einstein was so right (of course). Time is relative. We don’t run out of time; we simply omit to do the things that best fill our time, that give it meaning and substance. I am reminded of this often.
Time is built upon action. Postponing an action because we feel there is not enough time has one certain outcome: it robs that action of time.
I save my own writing and art work for the end of the day and the weekends, when my work for my clients is completed. Usually, like today, there are a few hours left to the day where I can fit in my own work and projects. In fact, there could be a lot more time left for my own stuff, but I can’t help myself, I put more time in my work for my clients than I tell them I will. This, to me, is worth my time. I lose myself in my work. I savor every moment. They say this is a sign of being on purpose with one’s calling. When I stop, I have a choice to remain on purpose or to disconnect. This choice can lead to an error in thinking.
I find I am most on purpose when I make time for it all: the work for clients, mine, and leisure, and this last item does not need to rob me of purposeful time. On the days when I let it, when I spend the evening watching documentaries or a movie instead of advancing my own projects, I waste precious time. On the days when I stop for dinner, perhaps with a good book, even for only a half hour, and then return to my projects, I enrich my time.
Lately, when I find myself able to make room for all that I wish to tackle during the day, I catch myself whispering in the back of my mind, “I did it!” with every small step I complete. I feel like I have been fully alive on those days. It does not matter if I did not finish everything. Finishing is not the goal; being and doing are the goals. I have come to realize that there is a sense of accomplishment in the small milestones much more than in any finished product.
An image comes to mind. I see the blacksmith of past centuries, hammering the iron against the anvil, dipping it the coals and hammering some more. Heating and hammering, incessantly, at a time when people learned a trade. Learning a trade is all about doing. It is about what takes place now. It is not about the goal, but about the actions that lead to a final result. If one focuses on the result, then the mind is consumed with getting done. If one focuses on the doing, the mind is intent on the moment. Savoring the process is a lost art.
I get discouraged if I focus on how much there is to start and finish. This perspective completely misses the doing part. Then, when I walk across the street to pay a visit to Silvio at Ornament Studio – he who works with the focus of the goldsmith, intent on the process – I am reminded. And I am reminded when I step back and look at my display in his shop and remember that little by little, sometimes one hour a day, I did this!