The Atlas

Practicing a new relationship with time

One of the things that I really love about Simon Sinek's new book, "The Infinite Game" is also a big part of what I love about The 10 Guideposts for Wholehearted Living that Brene Brown discussed in "The Gifts of Imperfection," which is a fundamental view of life as a process and not a series of results. In each book, both authors talk about their core principles being "practices" that require lifelong diligence.

To me this has been one of the most significant but interesting paradigm shifts I've recognized in my life over the past couple of years. As a massively driven and goal-oriented person, I am the first to admit that I spent pretty much since I was 24-years-old until I was about 42 with a 'check the box' approach to... well... everything, actually.

I did it with school. I did it with every single job. I did it every time I moved to a new city. I did it with marriage -- and then I promptly I did it again with divorce. I did it with home ownership. I did it with changing careers. I did it with leaving the country to become an expat and digital nomad.

When my nephew was 15 he (very earnestly) asked my dad, who was 60 at the time, what it was like to be old. My dad told him that he felt the same as he did when he was younger, just with a body that didn't cooperate they way it used to. He didn't feel any different, per say, but his body did.

I have thought about this conversation a lot recently -- especially after spending last week exhausting my dad walking him all over this pedestrian-oriented city. For me this shift in my relationship with time -- and visceral feeling about the nature of time continuing to march on long after I am gone -- has a radical impact on how I view things, prioritize things, value things and see myself fitting in the life I've constructed (or not!).

While I certainly recognize some of the signs my father noted about an increasingly less cooperative body (particularly my eyesight, which is feeling like it's some kind of crazy, midlife free-fall), to me the feeling of my life being part of a process and not chasing a product is arguably the most massive difference I feel in myself today versus when I was younger.

So much so that it's led me to a series of profound revelations since arriving in Medellin. I'll spare you the laundry list, but the net-net is that, once my time in Colombia comes to an end in late-November, I will be returning to the US. After six months as an expat, I will be settling in Miami, FL starting in December.

Instead of seeing this as a series of checklists to get knocked out, for the first time I actually see moving to a new city as a process of building a new home for myself. And I'm looking forward to the journey -- starting with spending this upcoming weekend there looking at apartments.

Alora's Signature