Today I needed soul food. I’ve been fighting a nasty head cold for several days, the kind where laying down causes a chain reaction of suffocating drainage, blocked nasal passages, itchy eyes, and painful coughing fits. As such I haven’t slept well, and the anxiety of falling behind on my to-do lists has added pain to poison.
So, I warmed up some leftover massaman curry and sank into the warmth of spiced rice and silence. As I ate, I recalled an interactive article my partner shared with me not long ago, called “Four Thousand Weeks”.
This post is worth the read. It’s powerful. A tribute to Oliver Burkeman’s book of the same name (made and open-sourced by Lee Byron), “Four Thousand Weeks” gives you a personal reminder of life’s brevity while simultaneously suggesting helpful, fundamental rules for life. It’s a longer read, but one I’ve reread several times over for it’s no-nonsense truths and firm optimism.
I hope you’ll take a peak for yourself, but in short, this post helps me put my struggles into perspective. Many of the tools it suggests are methods I’ve already adopted during this anxiety-healing chapter that has been my twenties. They’re tools that keep my world running smoothly. But tools fall short when you’re caught in a game of comparison, judging yourself against what you imagine others will think of you. You can wield a tool with skill, but skill alone doesn’t dictate whether you’ll do so confidently or anxiously.
The article as a whole reminds me to ignore the world’s urge to move quickly. Buy quickly. Pivot quickly. Achieve goals quickly. It reminds me to embrace contentment, to enjoy the ordinary moments and bask in the natural pace of my life. To release anxieties associated with not doing enough, or being enough.
These lessons are at the forefront of my mind, and the essence of my personal goals for 2023. And thanks to “Four Thousand Weeks”, I know that I have already walked 1,466 weeks of my life. 1,466 beautiful weeks, with hopefully many more to follow. If I move too quickly, I may miss them.
So here’s to savoring the mundane moments, to living intently with awareness, to sinking into rest when our minds are afraid of falling behind. Will you join me?