gardening | Habits

Pruning

“Relentlessly prune bullshit, don’t wait to do things that matter, and savor the time you have.” – Paul Graham

Spring is a good time to assess the yard, clean up the debris that accumulates over winter that was covered over in snow, fix things that need fixing, and prune the trees and shrubs to clean up any winter kill and promote growth of healthy new shoots.  I’ve gotten better at pruning over the years.

I watch less television than ever.  I moved all my social media apps into a file called Time Suckers.  I deleted Words With Friends and other such games.  I steer clear of negative people who infect the air with poisonous rhetoric.  I eliminate a meal more often.  I’m not a monk mind you, but I’ve gotten better at pruning over the years.

Instead, I write more than I’ve written since college.  I exercise every morning even if just a little bit.  I read immediately after exercise, even if just a little bit.  I research the places I go and look for interesting things to see and do there and try to get to those places and then write about them to help me remember what I saw and learned during my visit.

I’m more present in the moment.  Not just the easy stuff like smelling the roses when they’re in bloom, but the harder stuff that’s easy to ignore.  I wash the dishes, sweep the floor and do the laundry.  I call old friends and family more often, and try to see them when I can.  And in work break out of the familiar routines and make new contacts, learn new skills and push myself out of the comfort zone.  I’ve gotten better promoting growth over the years.  And savoring the time that I have.

I was going to end this blog post right there, and in fact did publish it.  Then I read Brain Pickings today and apparently I’m not the only one thinking this way today.  Maria Popova tackled time management in her own way, with quotes from Walt Whitman, Seneca and others.  So instead of ending this post on my own observations, I’ll lean in on Seneca to wrap up this post:

“Set yourself free for your own sake; gather and save your time, which til lately has been forced from you, or filched away, or has merely slipped from your hands…  Certain moments are torn from us… some are gently removed…. others glide beyond our reach.  The most disgraceful kind of loss, however, is that due to carelessness.” – Seneca

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