I wrote a book over a year ago and of course had to begin the equally as daunting task of marketing it. I really didn‘t want to work that hard, so of course the book has languished a bit. In a way I think I became self-conscious about offering so much advice and secondly I found that the more I learned the less I knew.
More importantly I, like so many people, have lived the kind of life where value seemed to accrue to what I had accomplished. Or I had been so thoroughly indoctrinated (infected) by “The Protestant Work Ethic” that I had forgotten that it did not have to apply now.
Yet we are some how hard wired to be constant learning machines, and in the process are doing machines at the same time. Nothing wrong with this, mind you, except that it is possible to zoom right past the simple pleasures of life store without realizing that that is where it is time to be shopping.
For example as a business person I might have ordered flowers, but I never took the time to appreciate them. I used to learn what I thought I needed to know in order to further my economic footing in the world. Now I take Spanish because I am living in Mexico a good bit of the time and it helps to learn the language. However, I’m not in any crash course. A little bit seeps in every day and that is good enough. I took up tennis and they have clay courts in this lovely community of San Miguel de Allende. I find that it is fun to improve, but it is more fun to enjoy the people in the game and to laugh when the ball goes out rather than to swear. The biggest challenge has been to hang in the learning Argentine Tango process. I saw these older people really enjoying themselves and looking sensational. I thought, “ Well, that could be me in time.” Having said that I have been at it for almost two years. The lessons are ok, but the practice seems more like work. So needless to say this is progressing at an extremely slow pace. While I would like to be an instant whizz, I have to be accepting that the lazy man’s way to Tango enlightenment is a slow journey: and that’s ok too.
So while on the earnings fast track the value of time was that it was available for work, and life was highly structured. Now that fast track has been removed and time has expanded, there is the guilt of not feeling like I am accomplishing things fast enough. But I am getting over that. Peter Russell, the British philosopher, said that the old paradigm was “Time is money.” But the new paradigm is, “ Money is time.” The more disposable time we have the richer we are. Richer meaning that we have the luxury of time to not just do but appreciate the simple marvels around us.
I am at the Miami Book Fair and Writer’s institute now just following my intuition and meeting a friend who has finished a rough manuscript. This is a good pace. Will report on what happens.