happy fall equinox (aka "no new things" day)!22 Sep 2020
this is the beginning of the end…
of this year.
ok also of lots of other things but today i’m just writing about the end of this year.
for the last couple of years, i’ve been practicing observance of a holiday where i will no longer commit to new things. last year, in a conversation with alexis flanagan, i realized (a) i wasn’t alone and (b) that the fall/autumnal equinox is a better day than the day i had chosen. because it was earth-based and in as many ways as possible, i’m trying to reconnect myself to the earth.
so here we are, sept 22nd, the autumnal equinox in the northern hemisphere. what does this day mean to me?
part of the reason i am saying no to new things from here through the end of the year is that i am already committed to a lot. thankfully, i can plan it all out well (#virgomoon), but it’s impossible to plan my way through overcommitment. so committing to nothing new will allow me the space to finish up my current commitments strong.
another part of the reason no new things day feels right to me is my income is secure for the rest of the year. anything new i take on will just squeeze my time and squeezed time actually impairs my ability to do my best work (h/t maureen for this dope article about the learner’s lifestyle even though warren buffet is not at all an inspiration to me, the underlying thinking is still solid).
one more reason no new things day feels right is that WINTER IS COMING. even though i hated winter i first moved up to new england, i have come to love what the cold outside supports. it supports slowing down, reading more, introspection, and just generally doing less. hibernation if you will. i have found that if i let my actually slow down with winter, it’s actually got a lot to offer. and it allows my spring and summer to really burst onto the scene. but that is made possible by the rest and recovery of winter. when i don’t slow down in winter (because lord knows this economic system wants us to pretend that every day is created equal), i find myself cranky, irritable, frustrated, and just generally not in a good place. i also have a small theory that the thing we call seasonal depression is actually just resistance to our body’s natural slow down mechanisms. i think SAD might not be so sad if we understood that it’s normal to sleep 25-30% more in the winter… cause like… so does the sun… and we built our work and economic and school systems so that everything downshifted as the days get shorter. (two side notes: i’ve always found it funny that we observe daylights savings time but don’t shift the time of ANYTHING ELSE. second, this little theory of mine does not contradict or undermine the experience of SAD).
ok so what does this look like? this list will probably evolve but it probably means:
- saying no to any new ask for my time in a way that spreads my attention from things already on my plate
- attempting to push any ask to jan 2021 to be scheduled. that doesn’t mean they’ll happen in jan, but that i’ll reach out to start the scheduling process in jan.
- returning back to my goals for year set on my annual retreat in january and marking off when i complete goals
- gradually increasing the amount of time i read each month. i want to be reading:
- 15min/day sept 22 - oct 21
- 30min/day oct 22 - nov 21
- 45 min/day nov 22 - dec 20 (dec 21 = winter solstice)
- 60+ min/day dec 21 - mar 20 (vernal equinox 2021)
i still need to plan some sort of celebratory thing to do today… if you have ideas, lmk!
happy fall equinox / no new things day!
ps - note this “no new things” boundary doesn’t really include my day job time though i will be bringing some of the energy of winding the year down into that space.
words / writing / post-processing
658w / 30min / 15min