Wisdom in the Cracks

Today is my first workout of 2020. Yes, I know that it is still 2019, but every good project has a prototype that you can tweak and improve before it is due. So let’s call today my first prototype workout.

2020 is filled with ambitious plans, including writing, publishing, coming back to fitness and losing weight. Last night, I woke up over and over again, the nervous nellie part of my psyche throwing up fresh ways to fail in both publishing and fitness. That’s ok. The goals don’t finalize until New Year’s Eve. My brain is doing its job of smoke testing our plans before we release.

Growing up, my best friend’s father was a publisher and an ex-Olympic athlete. When he died his death was covered in the New York Times. He had pretty firm ideas of what constituted a good life. Exercise, of course. Good food and wine savored slowly. Oh yes. Publishing good books, of course.

He also preached the value of hard work pursued for the sake of the work itself. One day when we failed to clean up the horse barn he scolded us saying, “I am a millionaire publisher, but when I clean up a horse barn I do a good job. Everything you do should be the best you are capable of.”

Today, as I contemplate starting my movement to fitness and starting to publish in 2020, I feel intimidated by 2020. My brain slips around like an octopus looking for a crack to escape into the sea.

But those who guided us in the past and who have sadly left us, can still guide us if we let their voices in. So today I thank Frederic Praeger for his good example and acerbic wisdom. I’ll do the best I’m capable of today for the sake of the work itself.

It is the end of the year, the beginning of the next, and for many of us, the holidays spread their light, drawing in memories of those who left us in previous years. May you also find wisdom in the cracks and may those you’ve lost haunt you with wisdom and love.

Be well, friends!

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