Going Back to the Well

I made a mistake this week. Since my wife and I will soon be purchasing a house, we decided to forgo a big vacation this year, and just take a week off to catch up on some projects. For me, there was a lot of reading and organization to get done.

But midweek, I realized I made a mistake. I realized that sometimes you need to do something very simple:


Stop the routine. Stop prioritizing. Stop setting goals. Stop catching up. Stop thinking. And perhaps, stop making sense.

So we ran away… spent a lot of time over the past 48 hours with the things that matter most:

  • Family
  • Food
  • Friends
  • Each other

And that is our plan for the next 72 hours as well.

Taking a moment to write this up, I feel that perhaps we can all use a "FULL STOP" in our work lives every now and again. I speak with so many people, and it is not uncommon for me to find folks who are in front of a very full plate of work.

Swamped with priorities, with goals, with routines, with a sense that they can barely keep up. And sometimes I can’t help but think:

People are so busy trying to keep up, that they may have forgotten exactly what it is they are chasing.

The fact that publishing, media, and audience behavior is in such a time of transition makes this all the more dangerous. I know how hard people work. I know how they don’t always have the resources they would like, and how more and more may be asked of them each day. And I see them live up to these challenges, making sacrifices to try to do more, with less.

But what I am appreciating this week, is the need to stop. The need to forget all of the old processes. Not to do away with the past, but to ensure that we:

Go back to the well; To remember the goal, not the process; To approach the world with clear eyes.

I hope you have had the chance to do just that this summer, and if you haven’t, I hope you take the time to do so. And not just for your own sake, but for the sake of your job, and the future of publishing and journalism as a whole.

Things are changing. We are all running quickly to live up to expectations we set for ourselves. The key, is to ensure that the course we are running along hasn’t changed too much from when we started out.

Okay, back to forgetting about all of this for 3 more days.

Leave a comment