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A destination that doesn't exist
And yet I'm still stupidly trying to go there.
I’m currently making my way through Four Thousand Weeks: Time Management for Mortals by Oliver Burkeman. As a person somewhat obsessed with productivity, I am always looking for ways to cram more “doing” into my days. Now, especially with a baby, it feels like I need to do even more with even less time. The wheel of time spins and spins and I am just spinning with it.
One of the passages from the book that really got me thinking was essentially about self-sabotage. Burkeman writes:
It turns out that when people make enough money to meet their needs, they just find new things to need and new lifestyles to aspire to; they never quite manage to keep up with the Joneses, because whenever they’re in danger of getting close, they nominate new and better Joneses with whom to try to keep up.
Huh. Nominating better Joneses.
Something about this feels deeply true. It’s as if he saw right through my mind games and called bull-shit on my “I’m too busy” lifestyle. It’s as if I’m deliberately choosing to stay on the spinning wheel because to stop would mean… the end of… well, me!
Who am I without being busy and needed? What worth do I have if I am not perpetually doing doing doing? What value am I bringing if I’m just sitting still?
The real question is: how long will it take me to understand that believing this productivity lie is quite possibly the most unproductive way to live?
There is no end to the to do list. So why do I still live life as if there is?
There is no cure for the Joneses disease. So why am I still searching for it?
I’m never going to be enough if I keep running towards a destination that doesn’t exist. I’ve doomed myself to taking a train to nowhere.
Someone much wiser than me said that the opposite of “more” is not “less”. The opposite of “more” is “enough”. I know I’ve said this to myself over and over again. I suppose I’m still struggling to learn it.
I guess I have to just keep reminding myself.