These days I am feeling a certain kinship with Job, who lived a couple thousand years before Christ. I’m not certain they had browntail moth caterpillars in the land of Uz, where he lived with his flocks and family, but it seems likely, given that his skin was covered with a rash so painful or itchy, he scraped his skin with a piece of pottery.
I’m a follower of health and wellbeing articles, eager to embrace behaviors that will help me age well. As part of my regular diet I include olive oil, dark leafy greens and salmon. I aim for at least 30 minutes of daily exercise and limit substances that are known to cause harm, such as sugar – well, most of the time. So this week I eagerly devoured an article in The New York Times, which listed five habits likely to add fourteen years to my life (twelve if I were a man).
Why yes, I did miss my 4-year-old’s first day of preschool. For some reason I wrote on my calendar that it began two days after it actually did. I discovered my mistake when the school called, asking where my child was. I am a creature of habit. Give me a routine and I can juggle almost anything – or at least I could until this past year when all my flying plates came crashing down and I realized that I needed to slow down, do less. Productivity is overrated. The idea that we only have so much time, so many days, so we should spend each one to its fullest stresses me out. Life is not a marketplace. Days are not currency. And the things that matter most cannot typically be computed in a ledger or checked off a list.