Sometime over the summer, my eight year old nephew said to me "Auntie Lisa, never doubt the power of time." and I thought to myself "never doubt the wisdom of children."
Over the summer, I found myself frequently reflecting on his statement, "never doubt the power of time." I repeated it to myself slowly, then rapidly, and then broke it down word by word. It wasn't a complicated statement, yet for me, it was a gentle reminder that I've spent a lifetime doubting time.
I have a fraught relationship with time. Since I was a kid, I always felt anxious about time. There always has been an undercurrent of urgency that followed me around as I navigated through life. I'm almost always on time. I don't like being late. I don't like when people make me late. I read the last chapter of books. I read Wikipedia as I watch movies. I don't like the unexpected. Yet despite all evidence, I think I can control time.
Trying to control how my time here on earth unfolds has been one of my biggest projects. I've read many productivity, self-help, and personal growth books in search of the perfect formula that would help me control my time. My notebooks and scraps of paper are filled with to-do lists and musing on how I can strategize my life. I talk incessantly to my friends and family about goal setting and time management. Despite all this planning and organizing, rarely do my days go as planned.
I spent the majority of my life focused on the micro-details of each minute, hour, and day; that I forgot to zoom out and look at time on a macro-scale. I looked at time as a day by day concept and forgot to look at the compounding effect of all those days. The "power of time" is a long term concept. When I think back to who I was in 2009, I am in awe of how much I have changed. Ten years ago, I would never have gotten up on a stage and spoke in front of a crowd, especially unprepared. A couple of weeks ago, I got up in front of a crowd, unprepared and told a story. Ten years ago, I would never have shared my thoughts on the Internet under my name. Now, I write and sign off all my blog posts with my name. Entering a new decade, I'm viewing time more patiently because it is a process.
I started blogging in 2009 as a way to express my thoughts and since then, I have grown as a writer and a communicator. I never thought that blogging would open my eyes to the world of entrepreneurship and storytelling. Ironically, entrepreneurship and storytelling were not on my daily to do list. However, with time, blogging has become my avocation and revealed to me skills I never knew I had. As I enter 2020, I would like to continue talking about transformation and growth. I am currently in the process of migrating the blog to a new platform called Ghost. I am editing all the old blog posts, creating an editorial calendar, and working on the design of the website/newsletter. I am excited for what the new year and decade has to offer. When my nephew said "never doubt the power of time," I realized that time has been good to me and my relationship with it is shifting.
As with last year, I am sharing the complete list of content that helped me grow and transform my mindset in 2019.
Content I consumed in 2019
Ivy and Bean – Annie Barrows
The Jumbies – Tracey Baptiste
Zora and me – Victoria Bond
Eloquent rage: A Black feminist discovers her superpower – Brittney Cooper
Peace is every step: The path of mindfulness in everyday life – Thich Nhat Hanh
All about love: New visions – bell hooks
An American marriage – Tayari Jones
Almost everything: Notes on hope – Anne Lamott
Anam cara: A book of Celtic wisdom – John O'Donohue
The four agreements: A practical guide to personal freedom – Don Miguel Ruiz
Esperanza rising – Pam Munoz Ryan
Harry Potter and the sorcerer's stone – J.K Rowling
Harry Potter and the chamber of secrets – J.K Rowling
Harry Potter and the prisoner of Azkaban – J.K Rowling
Harry Potter and the goblet of fire – J.K Rowling
Harry Potter and the order of Phoenix – J.K Rowling
Living by the word: selected writings – Alice Walker
Educated: A memoir – Tara Westover
Being Black: Zen and the art of living with fearlessness and grace – Angel Kyodo Williams
What I know for sure – Oprah Winfrey
Path made clear: Discovering your life's direction and purpose – Oprah Winfrey
Seat of the soul – Gary Zukav
The day I swapped my dad for two gold fish – Neil Gaiman
Hunger: A memoir of my body – Roxanne Gay
Heart and soul – Kadir Nelson
Becoming – Michelle Obama
Binti – Nnedi Okorafor