Arrange the pieces you have in front of you

I had lunch with a friend the other day who is starting to arrange the pieces she has in front of her.  She mentioned the Virginia Wolf quote to me “arrange the pieces that come your way” but what I wrote down was “arrange the pieces you have in front of you.”  Both my friend and I are in the stage of our lives where we have many pieces from our past in front of us and are thinking about how we can take those pieces in front of us and use them for a new adventure.  That is what our lunch conversation was about.

For the last couple of years, I have written about slowing down and moving into the next chapter.  I find that summer is when I take the time to really think about this.  It is a time when I start to fill my time with reading more books, doing a jigsaw puzzle, cooking more meals or even taking a treasured afternoon nap.  It takes time to shift gears.  I am starting to see those thoughts begin to turn into something tangible this year.  Sticking to a plan of less is more, traveling more and saying no more.  I want to keep my finger on the pulse but I also don’t want the pulse to control my life.  Not an easy balance.

She also said something which is about being inspired to do something versus being aspired to achieve something. Subtle differences where being inspired by an urge to do something versus aspiring to do something that you have your heart set on.  Maybe it is age, maybe it is just where I am in my life but I have been inspired to make changes that are small but significant over the past few years and am beginning to see them pay off.

I love being in the middle of founders who are building the future and I hope that never changes but being able to spend more times with friends and other projects are becoming more and more important so the balance of doing both is a gift.  As both my friend and I discussed, we need the work part in our lives to fuel the senses and so we are inspired to rearrange the pieces in front of us.  How these pieces are placed obviously holds the key.

Comments (Archived):

  1. awaldstein

    Great stuff.I’ve often believed that we do what we are good at not that which we love as the decision maker in our careers.I wonder how this truism morphs as we change over time.This feels related to the core of your post.

    1. Gotham Gal

      A lot changes with age. I am finding that more fascinating than anything.

  2. Kirsten Lambertsen

    Great differentiation between doing and achieving. I love things like that.”…I have been inspired to make changes that are small but significant over the past few years and am beginning to see them pay off.” If you’re ever inclined to post in more detail about that comment, I’m sure it would be of interest and value to many of us.

    1. Gotham Gal

      It is about having an end goal. If you can’t see the end goal then it is hard to get there. If you know where you want to be in 3 years, then you have to start moving there today.