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20 Days Left in 2020

Today there are twenty days left in 2020. What are you going to do with those twenty days? The other 346 tumultuous, maddening days of this year are behind us. All that’s left in this year are twenty days and it will be a memory stacked with all of our other memories. So what will we make of them?

Time isn’t our friend, my friend. With so little time available in our productive lifetimes, deciding what you will finish, what will define your time here, is in itself life altering. Boiled down even further (since time isn’t guaranteed anyway), deciding what you will finish in a year, a month, a week and, you guessed it, a day lends urgency to the most mundane of tasks. Luckily for us, twenty days is a small enough sample that we can wrap our minds around it.

What are you here for anyway? Decide what to be and go be it, as the Avett Brothers would suggest. And as the days shrink into the dark nuggets of December days and we round the corner into the New Year, what are you going to do with that precious time anyway? Finishing more seems a good answer.

For me that means work goals, final chapters in several books, fitness goals and places to be. Everything else is time with loved ones. That’s more than enough to focus on as we hit the home stretch.

Final Chapters
I’ve got a stack of critical reading to finish. Seven books in all, that I’ve mentally noted as my finish in 2020 books. For all my complaining about my tendency to bounce around between books, I’ve made steady progress despite it all. If you’re the average of the five people you hang around with the most then raising that average with the authors of exceptional books is a worthy use of limited time. Notably, I’ve set aside some other books that I’ve chosen not to finish. Life is full of compromise. Just make compromises that will still move you forward.

Stretching your mental boundaries through reading is one thing, but we can’t let our bodies waste away in the meantime. Worthwhile fitness goals force the issue of how you spend your days. I’ve accepted a rowing challenge from old college friends. And so I’ll be spending more of that precious time rowing a few hundred thousand miles in preparation for the moment of truth: 2000 meters for time. Nothing focuses the mind on the task of getting in peak shape like a 2000 meter row on a Concept 2 Rowing Ergometer.

Places to Be
Getting fit is great, but I’m an outdoor creature at heart and I can’t very well spend my entire winter indoors rowing. As luck would have it there are worthy places to go and things to see within reach in a year where travel is prohibited. Hiking trails, mountain peaks, waterfalls and long stretches of sandy beach with no footprints on them in winter are all waiting patiently for you. Lonely sites of historical significance with ghosts waiting to whisper to you. All outside the door and a short drive away. Forget binge-watching, try binge-doing.

Only twenty days left in the year. A power twenty, as rowers would recognize: twenty at maximum effort to pull ahead. Not all that much for a year we’ll surely never forget in our lifetimes. Why not make something positive out of the last twenty? Twenty powerful days to finish this year, and to set ourselves up for a brighter future.

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