A wish for you for the new year with Ilise Benun

In this short solo podcast episode to kick off 2022, I share a few thoughts inspired by a book I’m loving lately, "Four Thousand Weeks: Time Management for Mortals" by Oliver Burkeman. It’s both deep and practical at the same time, my favorite combination.

Listen here (and below) and scroll down to read it, if you prefer.

Enjoy and I’ll be back with much more in the new year. (Subscribe on Apple podcasts here.)

One thing. 

It seems I can only focus on one thing at a time these days. I have to ignore almost everything else. 

And I never know when that one thing will be finished and I will be ready to turn my attention to the next thing. 

I love this – that things “take the time they take.” In German, this is called Eigenzeit.

And I am grateful that I have the luxury of being able to give the important things the time they need – and the attention they need – to be as strong or as simple as they can possibly be. 

That’s what I wish for you for this new year. 

That you can choose the one important thing at a time that deserves your undivided attention. 

Easier said than done, I know. 

It means we have to neglect and disappoint and sacrifice all those other things and people and sometimes even the dog, so we can focus. 

Yet I have found that it is such a deeply satisfying (fulfilling) experience – to be able to say no to distractions and notifications and yes, also to real creatures who deserve our attention – just not now. 

Not now.

Not yet. 

Be patient. 

There’s no rush. 

Let’s slow it all down and focus.

I am inspired at the moment by a book I’m reading: Oliver Burkeman’s pseudo-self help book, "Four Thousand Weeks: Time Management for Mortals." 

So I wanted to share a few of my favorite lines: 

“The tangible reality of a finite human life is that you are going to have to choose.”

“You have to choose a few things, sacrifice everything else and deal with the inevitable sense of loss that results.”

“There are hard choices to be made: which balls to let drop, which people to disappoint, which cherished ambitions to abandon, which roles to fail at.” 

“Any finite life, even the best one you could possibly imagine, is therefore a matter of ceaselessly waving goodbye to possibility.”

“Time is always already running out.”

That, to me, is not a morbid or depressing thought. 

Rather, it is invigorating…a persistent wake up call to choose wisely and to constantly exercise the muscle that helps me resist the urge to fit in one more tiny task between calls or the urge to sacrifice myself in order to please someone else. 

To me, this is the path toward freedom. So I wanted to share it with you to begin the new year.