It’s time for new beginnings (and uncertainty). Are you ready?

Night window

“We overestimate what we can accomplish in a day, and underestimate what we can accomplish in a year.”

That’s one of my favorite quotes about time and productivity. And it has certainly played out over and over. Here it is mid-afternoon as I’m writing this, and my to-do list is filling up a page in front of me. And in my head, there is a to-do list to create more to-do lists. There is much to be done.

Who will ever have time for death? There will always be too much to do.

Conversely, I’ve been looking back at this past year, and noting just how full it was. Not just in terms of traveling, though in this respect I’m sure I hit a personal record, but in terms of density. There was so much. So much work, so much connection, so much more work, so much progress, and so much love.


How much do you reveal? How much are you ready to say?

I’ve been assisted in my retrospective by the writer Susannah Conway, and her excellent yearly workbook “Unravel Your Year“, a facilitated look back at the year followed be a look forward to the year ahead. Susannah’s writing feels as relaxing as a hot cup of tea on a cold day, and I’ve been a fan of hers for years. (Please go to her site and download it to see for yourself.)

Unravel Your Year 2019

But this is the first year in quite a few that I’ve sat down and worked on the workbook; previous years I haven’t set up enough priority for it. (With apologies to Mr. Bueller, life moves pretty fast.)

I love the holiday time of year. I opt-out of pretty much every holiday tradition (see here on my view of holidays) and because of that, I have the luxury of being able to replace it with slowness. A pause—a comma—before the next year starts up and barrels ahead at full tilt.

The week in between Christmas and New Years is like the time of night between 2AM and 5AM, when everything is still and quiet, but if you’re awake, you can usually get the most clarity.


And before I set my course for the next year, I want to aim properly. I want to know where I’m going. Don’t you?

Everything is uncertain. Actually, that’s not true, but the things that are uncertain are uncertain (if that makes sense), and they grow to fill the available space until it’s easy to forget that so much of one’s life isn’t uncertain at all.

It might feel like it’s raining hard on you, but at least the rain drops are still falling downward. The rain is still water. The water is still clear. What is stable and constant can feel invisible.

I’m embracing uncertainty in the coming year. Not because I want to. Not because I relish it. But because it feels like the least worst option. If that’s the train I’m on, I might as well enjoy the ride.

Watch this space. Things are going to change.

What is uncertain for you this coming year? It could help to write it down. Send me a note if you don’t want to write it publicly below. I read every one of them.

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