Last week I suggested everyone should ignore the annual guilt-ridden exercise of making resolutions. But it’s a hard custom to shake, which makes worth spending a little time analyzing the process. In the 17th and 18th centuries, Puritans spent their birthdays and January 1 in an exercise of intense introspection. During the process, they looked
Welcome to the first week of 2020. Will you be setting goals? Or have you decided the annual ritual of introspection is an exercise in futility? This first year of a new decade, why not try something new, like catching a brass ring or being fully present in a state of flow? THE BRASS RING
It’s December, and almost everywhere you look there are Christmas trees, evergreen boughs, and other symbols of this end-of-the-year “Season.” Long before Santa ever came on the scene, people in the Northern Hemisphere worried about the winter darkness. Some thought winter came because the Sun God was ill, and celebrated the Solstice because at long
This is the view from my writing desk, and I’m in the midst of assessing my writing space. It’s rainy this afternoon, so the skies are grey and cheerless, but at least light still comes through. On a clear day, I get a more joyful view. You can see a bit of my basic configuration:
“The hurrier I go, the behinder I get.” Poor White Rabbit. He was under such stress, always looking at his watch and fretting. And we do exactly the same. Over-scheduling. Multi-Tasking. Running from here to there and back again. Texting while walking. Listening to podcasts while jogging. Fidgeting while waiting in the spa Quiet Room.
As we settle into the new year, it’s as good a time as any to reflect on old and new wisdom. [The new wisdom is like the old, but with more directions.] This wooden depiction of the Three Monkeys sat on the bookshelf in my parents’ house. Presently, it’s on my fireplace mantle. It
ROUTINE: Definition: a sequence of actions regularly followed. Example: Awaking after a lengthy sleep. RUT: Definition: Habit of behavior that has become dull and unproductive, but is hard to change. Example: “You’re in a rut.” No one ever says: “You’re in a routine.” In fact, the word rut is almost never said with a
In the beginning of my calendrical life, there was a small book with twelve monthly calendars and the days divided into little squares. With tiny handwriting, one could fill in the squares. 10:00 Dentist. That sort of thing. There was often an address book in the back, and perhaps a couple blank pages for notes.
Did you make any resolutions for 2018 — any promises to yourself to become a better person? A recent poll by Marist College in New York revealed 12 per cent of respondents resolve to do just that. An equal number want to lose weight, which may be their version of being a better person. Or
Writers are solitary people who play with imaginary friends. We function best in spaces where we can shut the door. If that isn’t possible, we’re known to wear noise-cancelling headphones. Ernest Hemingway famously said, “There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.” He failed to mention that