Time to stop and watch the geese

Today, I raced into a meeting only to discover I had the time wrong – I was 30 minutes early.  I was in a big conference room all by myself.  I spent a few minutes deciding whether to sit and answer email, or whether to take advantage of 30 minutes and run around taking care of some of the many tasks I had lined up for the day.  The latter won, and I raced out of the door, plotting in my mind how to get as much packed into 30 minutes as possible.  Then, my head came up and I looked at the view. This is what I saw:

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For the record, this is where I work.  I have this view every day.  When I first took this job, I thought I was the luckiest person on earth.  I would spend a bit of time every day walking along the river and taking in the view and the fresh air.  Today, I realised that I had not even looked at the view for months.  I work there every day and spend my days running from meeting to meeting, or teaching all day.  I talk to my MBA students about how important it is to have time for reflection.  I tell them to take care of their mental health and to think about how they balance the various parts of their life in a holistic way.  Somehow, I had forgotten to practice what I preach.

You might not notice in the above photo the line of geese walking across the lawn.  Here is a close-up:

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I spent twenty minutes standing outside in the brisk, cold, sunny morning watching the geese.  I then had a very productive day getting all of my tasks done.

December can be a super stressful month.  We put a huge amount of pressure on ourselves during the holidays.  If this is true for you, let me offer up a piece of advice: take some time to stop and smell the roses.  Or, as in my case, to stop and watch the geese.