before I became a mom people who had kids constantly told me. . .
that when you have kids the days go by slowly but the years speed away. I’d nod my head in agreement pretending that this was something that as a childless person I’d never known. I wanted to validate their experience AND avoid a conversation about why I didn’t or should have kids.
With or without kids, some days zoom by and others drag. That’s just life.
Gay Hendricks calls this “Einstein Time”. This is the theory that the rate at which time passes depends on your frame of reference. Hendricks said, “YOU are where time comes from-you can make as much of it as you want!”.
In other words, you make time for the things that you want to make time for and time passes slowly when you’re not doing something that brings you joy.
Without fail, every December I can’t get the notion of Einstein Time out of my mind. I look at the year behind me and ask myself… Did I do enough? Did I appreciate all of the wonder in my life?
Those two questions seem like enemies. When I’m doing and going and accomplishing, can I really be present in moments and appreciate them?
The real gift is that precious moment when you get both presence and reflective appreciation at the same time.
That’s the sweet sweet epiphany. It happens when I’m in the midst of some seemingly mundane thing that my conscious mind is focused on and then… somehow, I’m taken both deeper into that moment and able to see it in the big picture of my life. It’s this precious moment where the absolute amazingness of life trumps everything else.
- Begging my son to use the potty and being amazed that I have a son after seven years of relentless and painful trying.
- Taking photos at one of our Patchwork Shows and realizing that for the past 20+ years I’ve been able to not only support myself through my small business but have also been able to help other creatives do the same.
- Eating dinner while watching a show with my husband for the umpteenth time and being floored by the fact that I found a partner that I can share my deepest darkest thoughts with and also laugh at bad TV with.
Somehow, some of the big stuff that I’m supposed to remember, that’s supposed to make an impact fizzles away (how did I celebrate my 16 birthday?) as the years go by and for reasons beyond my comprehension random everyday stuff is etched in my mind (why do I recall coming home tipsy from a dive bar in my twenties and making an open-faced tuna melt on a bagel in my oven broiler and listening to a Donovan record?).
It’s the little moments that, as it turns out, aren’t little at all. They’re magical portraits ala Harry Potter that hold threads to other memories that shoot out like Spiderman’s webs into dozens of other moments that when stitched together become your complicated and beautiful and sad and perfectly imperfect life.
When I think of that tuna melt from my dive bar era, I remember living in San Francisco in the 90s, the freedom of only having myself to worry about, the crushing anxiety I didn’t yet understand that led to me crying in the bathtub more nights than not and of course… how good that tuna melt tasted after a night of drinking cheap beer.
Like Walt Whitman said, “I contain multitudes.”
How can you remember it all? How can you make sure you’re squeezing out every bit of wonder and beauty from life? How can you capture it all? You can’t. It’s impossible.
BUT WHAT YOU CAN DO IS . . .
- Prime yourself for more magical moments by trying your best to be present (even though nearly everything in our world tries to make this impossible).
- Make time to make art. Creating is not just a miracle because you’re making something from nothing but also because you’re creating something that only you can make. What you make is born from who you are and everywhere and everyone you’ve been.
- Pay attention to yourself. Not just self-care stuff (though it’s important) but check in with yourself. Pat yourself on the back for things that are going well. Ask yourself what’s missing. Craft a plan to get what you need. Ask for help and support. Remind yourself that you’re a badass who deserves everything you want.
This stuff isn’t easy but like most hard things, it’s worth it!
Whether you’re a hermit living alone in the middle of nowhere or surrounded by kids and/or pets begging for your attention, if you’re living like that, designing your life, the years will speed by. That’s actually a good thing if you believe in Einstein Time. It means that you’re doing what brings you joy because you’re paying attention and living intentionally.
As we inch towards 2024, I want to encourage you to take a moment to step back and reflect.
Let’s not make it complicated. Here’s what to do:
- Grab a piece of paper and draw a vertical line to dissect it in half lengthwise.
- On one side write YAYS. On the other side write FUTURE YAYS.
- On the YAYS side, write down good stuff from 2023. It can be small or big. It can be personal or professional. Once you write something down, pause and let that YAY sink in.
- On the FUTURE YAYS side write down things you want to be able to put down on your YAYS side when 2024 is over. Write down every silly, huge, hard, easy or whatever thing that comes to mind.
Done? Congrats! Go make yourself a cup of tea or a Manhattan (my fave winter drink) and marvel at everything you are and have done and will be and will do. That’s it my friend.
If you’re still reading this, I’ll bet we can help you out with your FUTURE YAYS. Here’s how:
Looking to support the arts and your local economy?
IF YOU WANT TO....
👯♀️ Make friends like the ones you made (or wished you made) at summer camp as a kid.
👩🏿🎨 Push yourself outside your creative comfort zone to make all the things.
🥅 Have 1.2 million AH-HA moments to fuel your next big leap.
📈 Get actionable business info.
Then join us at Craftcation Conference and spend five life-changing days at the beach. 🏖
As multi-year alum Holly Marsh once said… “Craftcation has this effect… when you walk through the door it’s almost like a magical transformation.”