As I listened to his podcast on my morning walk this week, Tim Ferriss reminded me about a book he recommended that I read a few years back. It is called The Lessons of History by Will and Ariel Durant. It condenses 10,000 years of history into about 120 pages. Tim said that when you look at that kind of snapshot, you realize we have been here before. Plagues, famines, wars. And we got through it. As we will again.
Although there are many hardships, there are also numerous silver linings.
Michael Lewis, in his book The Undoing Project, writes that Amos Tversky said, “You waste years by not being able to waste hours.”
This made me think about how I never really stopped for the last decade. Raising kids, school commitments, dance, hockey, freelance work. We were pretty much scheduled down to five-minute intervals. Although I got a lot of joy out of it all, if we never have a chance to stop and take a breath how do we really know if we are headed in the right direction?
The pandemic forced our hand.
I ‘ve never seen so many people out walking. I got on a bike for the first time in a long time yesterday. I savour each sip of tea or hot chocolate at home when I used to mindlessly slurp down drive-through beverages all day long before. I have had conversations that I previously would not have had time for. I have meditated more. I have treated myself. I have found ways to improve my finances.
In some ways I had to lose myself to find myself.
We have built up the story in our heads of who we are since the day we were born. Maybe this hard stop will cause us to rethink what we think we know about who we are.
We are not our name or our job or our family or our kids or our education. We are not our history. We are more than that. We have so much growing to do. Yet we will always be enough.