Everything all at once
I watched Everything Everywhere All at Once on the plane on my way to the Balkans and am thrilled to see it getting so many awards, because I loved it. However, what I’m really thinking about when I say everything all at once is the buzzing in my head this week about all that there is to do and decide and plan. After all, this is supposed to be my year of being intentional with my time.
Unsettling news arrived this week from my wider friend network that has me thinking about the urgency of time, because we have so very little of it. And I have so many urgent things to do and decide. Corporate thinking has seeped in despite my best attempts to keep it out, and I found myself this morning facing my day like I would face a workday of old. Stressed and frenetic of mind.
Everything, all at once, must be done, right now, or this experience will have been for nothing. Where am I going next? What am I doing? I need to get this, this, and that, and the other thing done.
How am I going to get it all done today?
Why don’t I have answers to these questions?
What is wrong with me? THIS IS URGENT!
perhaps everything isn’t so urgent, so much as very important. Perhaps these questions deserve more consideration and not a snap, corporate decision.
We do not have all the time in the world, but some things just take more time. More to the point, they take me more time.
I’m not a fast-paced work environment that I hack to become more productive, even if my mind would have me become one sometimes.
And, so, after a frustrating morning rituals session, where at least I managed to set some realistic intentions for my day (I’m still not happy with how little it entails), I set out for a walk with Ollie on this first sunny day in what feels like months. It was warm enough for him to forego his coat (he was happy about that), and warm enough for me to slow my pace and walk freer and easier than the fast trudges of these last dark and cold days. Even though I hadn’t yet done a thing other than sit with my busy bee of a brain this morning, walking felt right.
I talked to neighbors, mostly older folks out with their dogs (we talked over the yapping of our pups). It’s a nice day, someone’s actually on a kayak out on the lake (we debated the wisdom of this—sorry, guy, but I think you’re not the brightest bulb to be out on January waters, but my neighbor thought you’d be fine. I hope she’s right).
I looked out at the water, to the hills on the far shore and the old oak leaves clinging to the tree closest me.
I thought about what I wanted to do today vs. what I felt like I had to do today. Lucky me, I do actually want to do the things that I felt like I had to do. I just realistically need to make choices about which of those things I can do today.
I remembered Gandalf taking to Frodo, telling him that he needed to decide what to do with the time that was given to him. When in doubt, follow your nose.
I pared down the list. Everything else will wait for another day. Or maybe not, but today is the only time I have.
Here, now, in this moment. I saw a patch of ground with snow, brown leaves, acorns, and green leaves. That is everything, all at once.