October 26, 2009

thoughts about big rocks

We have a woodstove.  With the shorter days and the stormier weather we like to have fires.

One of my tasks is the chopping.  My ten year old has given me clear instructions on the necessary piece sizes.  All I need to do is produce them.  The fir in our woodpile is seasoned this year and the task is relatively easy. It's also a good reason to take a break from my work and get some exercise and fresh air.

The chopping causes me to think about time.  If the woodstove were our only source of heat, I would be chopping a lot of wood.   I think I might need an hour a day to chop enough.  How would I make space for that in my day?

Time is considered a precious resource.  We are always looking for tools that will save us time.  We never have enough time to do all that there is to do.  How did we manage when we had to chop wood every day?

What there is to do expands to fill the time, so that nothing is left.  The metaphor about putting rocks in a jar uses big rocks to represent the important things in your life, and little rocks to represent everything else.   The metaphor suggests that you place the big rocks in the jar before the little ones.  If you don't, you can't fit the big ones in, because the little rocks take up all the space.

If keeping my family warm meant chopping wood every day, it would be a big rock.  It isn't for me, as we have electric heat.   However, I realize that I don't always have the big rocks clear in my mind.  I define them every now and again, but I tend to lose sight of them as time passes.

I think I will choose to review them often - weekly, even - to ensure that I am spending my time on the things that I have said are the most important.

No comments:

Post a Comment