Thursday, October 27, 2011

A useless post about practically nothing

I subscribe to a (free) blog by one Peter Bregman, who writes often about time/self management. Mostly, I like his personality.  Of course, time management is a scoff in my life now.  When you are old, well, aging is a breakdown of systems, parts wearing out, though the shock absorbers do get better with practice. Your muscles actually lose a percentage every year, so you exercise to just stay even. And your brain slows down too, being busy with not falling.

The thing is, most time management is about Getting Things Done.  I myself, in fact, have a book by that title sitting right here at my relatively useless right hand.  I came across a reference to it recently, probably in Bregman's blog, and thought, I have that book somewhere.  Yep.  With post-its on it, too. I can't tell what year I bought it, but I was obviously ambitious.

The book asks us to sit down for a few hours or longer and write down every single damn thing we want to get done.  Everything.  All the things that have piled up around you for years, if you're a regular human being living the good life in America. For instance, that box of old photos and slides from the film era, which I have mentioned before: it cries out to be gone through, throw out the many bad pictures, convert the rest to digital - you know.  At least do the pictures of Sherlock, beloved cat of many years.  At least that.  And I bet you have a box like that too - though maybe some of my readers are so young they have always been digital. An amazing thought.

Well, I thought of writing that down - just that one undone project - and I quailed.  [to shrink back in fear, cower - and the synonyms are great]  To even think of seriously setting out to do that project, buying one of those converter things, creating a[nother] big mess . . . no, I thought, I'd do better to do something small, like figure out where to keep my headscarves.  Somehow they have all ended up on top of my dresser in a heap.

You know I must have a larger point, and it is this: when you are old enough you get to stop Getting Things Done.  You don't need to accomplish stuff anymore.  You are done accomplishing.  You can have the great pleasure of . . . doing not much. And knowing that it doesn't matter.


  1. but that is that whole "don't sweat the small stuff" kind of mentality that we should all ascribe to. I suppose there's a fine line between "good enough" and the requirement of getting SOME things done...

  2. Yes, since it looks like I'll never qualify for poet monk wandering around with a begging bowl, I have to do a lot to stay alive and more or less acceptable in this society. Laundry. Haircut. Shower. Brush and floss. Well, there went the day.