The nights are drawing in now and how this year has flown by. Time seems to have done funny things in the past 18 months. In the midst of lockdown it seemed simultaneously to stand still and to rush past.
But do we place too much store on time, and how we use it?
This week I read a fascinating book by Oliver Burkeman called 'Four Thousand Weeks' (scroll down for more details). It is based on the fact that if we live to be 80, we will have had 4,000 weeks on earth. And he asks us to consider how we're addressing that fact. Are we making the most of each moment? What does that actually mean?
While he confesses to having been a time-management junkie, obsessed with being more productive and efficient, seeking to cram ever more things into each day, in this book he describes how he now believes that approach is all wrong. It means we are serving economists, industrialists, governments by keeping busy to reach some ultimate future goal of happiness and fulfillment. Instead, he says, we need to stop, reassess and let go.
We can build our security in keeping busy, but it can distract us from appreciating the here and now. Lockdown saw us enjoying the natural environment, taking local walks, gardening and baking, appreciating family and neighbours, as perhaps never before. This book urges us to recall that experience and to be brave and liberate ourselves from the overwhelming to-do lists. And it's a very entertaining and stimulating read too.
Thank you for reading.