It’s a cliche for a reason, right? Time passes more rapidly as you get older, and once you have kids the days are long but the years are short.
I’m reveling in a new thought about time right now that seems just as obvious and cliche, it’s almost become meditative to think about: A year is a really long time. You can do almost anything undoable in a year.
Last year, I went from not being able to run for a single minute without wanting to die to easily running for an hour or more. Even enjoying it. More extreme: I lost some 30 pounds in the last year. That is an enormous amount of weight to lose in a year. And yet, it felt like I was losing it at a glacial pace, frequently backsliding. My goal originally was to lose “just” five pounds a month. That seemed doable and approachable and in just 6 months I’d be at my goal!
But metabolism, asthma and other things conspired and no matter my efforts I couldn’t healthily lose weight that fast. It took me twice as long. Twice as long as what I already thought was a non-aggressive pace of weight loss.
It felt frustrating and interminable and hopeless at times. I didn’t remember weight loss being this hard after I had Evie, and then I remembered…Of course. I was nursing through nine months of it.
Now, on the other side if it, it feels miraculous that I lost this much weight and like it was a bargain for a year of striving.
Paul has undergone a similar feeling with his teeth. He went on a recent obsessive streak of getting his health in order. A big part of that was fixing his teeth; as a Brit who was an alcoholic for years…there was some work to do. And it included a year of Invisalign as just part of it. I thought he was sort of crazy when he took this on. “Your teeth are fine!” I thought. “Don’t we have other things to spend money on?”
I’ve called his Invisaligns his “dentures” for the last year. I can’t shove a bite of something I’m cooking in his face without his having to remove them and wrap them and blah blah blah. “A year!” I kept thinking.
And yet, here we are. He’s done. And he’s had all sorts of other treatments and looks downright American in the mouth department. It’s sort of amazing.
I’ve written before about how my intention this year is to live not in the moment, and not in the five year plan. But in the next 12 months. This feels freeing to me, because I know there is nothing I have to accomplish in the next 12 months that I can’t. I am the perfect CEO for Chairman Mom for the next 12 months. We can easily get through our plan for the next 12 months. And by “easily” I mean that as a CEO who has stared down existential death too many of the years I’ve run companies. Nothing is easy. But it’s not existential which in founder speak is the same as easy.
I know what to expect of my kids in the next 12 months, especially Evie because her brother is only a year older. I even have enough savings to pay my mortgage for almost that long, should something catastrophic happen. I get anxiety when I think about five years from now. But I’ve got the next 12 months.
And reflecting on the last 12 months, it’s astounded what any of us can accomplish in that time. It’s the perfect amount of time to fixate on: Enough that drastic changes can take place even at a glacial pace, but short enough that you can do it. It’s somewhere between a sprint and a marathon.