Can You Cut One Thing?

Can you cut one thing?February finds many of us in a long, gapless stretch of work that ranges from humdrum to harrowing. New Year’s resolutions to work smarter or spend more time with family or hone a hobby are buried by snowpack, and we retreat into ourselves or suffer panic or just put our heads down to make it to May.

All these things stifle joy and success. Because joy and success is what Indwelling Language is about, I always wonder what can bring relief. The antidotes to DEVOLSON are great candidates and I strongly recommend them, but they can constitute a type of extra work themselves. Commiserating with and otherwise supporting a network of colleagues in person or online can be powerful and I strongly recommend it, but it, too, is a type of work.

So I’ll just suggest that we all search our routines, our settings, our teaching and learning materials, and our possessions for

one thing to cut.

Just one thing. Even if it’s a little thing that seems like it wouldn’t make much of a difference. It could be a physical item to give away or throw away. It could be a little habit that creates stress or wastes time. It could be a book we feel like we have to read, or a lesson we feel like we have to teach. You might check out the ideas in “The Disciplined Pursuit of Less,” a post I wrote around this time last year after reading the book of the same name.

Feel free to share what you’re trying to cut, or not. Me, I’m cutting the “one more thing” that I would normally watch on TV any given night–a bit of Sportscenter, the commentary portion of Premier League Goal Zone, half a rerun of Property Brothers–and heading toward bed that much earlier.

For some immediate calm, try this seasonally fitting acoustic guitar piece my friend wrote called “What I’ve Found in February,” which I’ve loved for years and listened through a few times while drafting this post. I wish you a peaceful, joyful, successful February and beyond!

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