We Ain’t Got That Kinda Time

February 1, 2016

Yesterday, January 18, was social media’s ‘Blue Monday.’ The ‘most depressing’ day of the year. No true scientific fact to determine its validity, but still I found it a depressing day just the same. I had too many minutes to spend on Facebook with too many RIPs in the postings. You could feel the loss people felt through the responses they left – Glenn Frey, Grizzly Adams, Alan Rickman, David Bowie, Meadowlark Lemon, and Natalie Cole.

The Baby Boomer generation is passing on… and it is going to be a sad decade or two. No number of hip replacements or knee replacements or vitamin supplements will stop us all from passing on. Even Botox or Viagra won’t work.

What does it all mean? For me it means we need to become generous with each other as transitions take place in our lives. It means we need to encourage others to step up and take risks, to dream big and live large and to appreciate each other a bunch all the time. I have decided as I move into my 49th year (my birthday is March 6, 1967 – a Gen Xer for sure) to take a workshop with Sam Heen at Esalen in March. He has framed our conversation as “What’s Next? Reviewing and Revisioning Our Lives.” The blurb says, “Periodically, we need to review and revision our lives. Every decade of the life cycle brings new challenges, goals, pleasures, and horizons. Every change — divorce, illness, tragedy, success, failure, retirement — requires us to make a new beginning, take stock of our past, and look for a new vision for the future. If you’re ready to take a deep look into your life — and to make some changes — this workshop is for you. Through talks, group work, and other experiential exercises, we’ll explore a variety of questions, including the following:

  • Where are you in your life cycle?
  • What promise or purpose is waiting to be realized?
  • What hasn’t happened yet?
  • What haven’t you done? Been? Experienced?
  • What have you given? Whom have you loved?
  • What needs to be grieved, forgiven, and forgotten?
  • What will your legacy be?”

I remember looking at this workshop description several times over the last few years and I never signed up. I wasn’t ready to address these questions. They were too scary to ask myself and they still are BIG questions for me, but as author Anne Lamott’s friend, Pammy, mentioned to Anne when she was asked by Anne if the skirt she was wearing made her look fat, “Annie, you ain’t got that kinda time.” I don’t know what ‘kinda time’ I got, but I think we should all be asking the big questions. They are worth the ‘scary.’

If you have any questions, comments or topic suggestions, please feel free to call me, 650-868-1916 and we can Face Time, Skype me at jenniferabrams, or email me at jennifer@jenniferabrams.com and we can set up a time to talk voice to voice. I look forward to hearing from you!

Cool Resources

EQ Schools Conference 2016 – Teaching to the Human Core. A two-day conference with the purpose of integrating Mindfulness, Emotional Intelligence, Positive Psychology, and Improv into k-12 classrooms through supporting teachers’ well-being, providing them with concrete and practical tools, and creating a space for connection and collaboration. Some of my favorite teachers have teamed up under the leadership of Roni Habib (a former student and fabulous human being) to create this conference. Check it out.

Paul Kalanithi’s When Breath Becomes Air “What makes life worth living in the face of death? What do you do when the future, no longer a ladder toward your goals in life, flattens out into a perpetual present? What does it mean to have a child, to nurture a new life as another fades away?” These are some of the questions Kalanithi wrestles with in this profoundly moving, exquisitely observed memoir.

David Feldman and Lee Daniel Kravetz’s Supersurvivors: The Surprising Link Between Suffering and Success “The authors interviewed dozens of men and women whose stories serve as the counterpoint to the latest scientific research. Feldman and Kravetz then brilliantly weave these extraordinary narratives with new science, creating an emotionally compelling and thought-provoking look at what is possible in the face of human tragedy. Supersurvivors will reset our thinking about how we deal with challenges, no matter how big or small.”