Wednesday, March 31, 2010

On This We Must Insist: Fight For Your Time!

Anne Lamott may not approve of this post.  Actually, she might not mind the post so much, as it's something I enjoy and something for me, but the fact that I will post a link to it on Twitter would probably driver her batty.  Or more likely, she'd just sigh and ask rhetorical questions like, "Didn't you read what I wrote?  Didn't you get it?"

Anne Lamott is one of my heroes.  She's a writer who I ardently adore, who makes me laugh out loud, and who speaks to me (as she does to all of us) with her blunt honesty.  She slays and saves with one deft stroke of her pen, or her keyboard, as it probably is.  I'm always delighted to find pieces she's written, and I wish she would join Twitter so that I could follow her.  You can never have too much Anne Lamott.

Alas, she will never join Twitter.  Never.  That much became clear to me in the current issue of Sunset Magazine (April 2010) where she writes a first person account called "Time Lost and Found," and demands that we put ourselves first.  And to do that, she tells us, "your manic forms of connectivity -- cell phone, email, text, Twitter -- steal most chances of lasting connection or amazement."  I told you she won't join Twitter.  She's too busy living a rich life of amazement and wonder, and probably a little neurosis thrown in for good measure.

Because she can see the big picture, she implores us to try and just sneak a little peek.  To do that, we need to fight for time for ourselves.  "What manic or compulsive hours will [we] give up in trade for the equivalent time to write, or meander?" she writes, "Time is not free -- that's why it's so precious and worth fighting for."

Fighting for time for ourselves is the only way to enrich our lives.  And it doesn't matter what we do with that time, as long as it's something that fulfills you: "the good news is that creative expression, whether that means writing, dancing, bird-watching, or cooking, can give a person almost everything that he or she has been searching for: enlivenment, peace, meaning, and the incalculable wealth of time spent quietly in beauty."

Read her piece.  You'll laugh.  It may hit a nerve, in a good way.  But bottom line, listen to her: fight for yourself, and your time.  Start small, but do it.  There's no one more important than you.


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