For Banana Reasons

Apr 26, 2023
4000 weeks book cover 4 bananas in varying stages of ripeness with real banana on the side

Last week I met a wonderful woman from Switzerland. She was only in New York for 10 more days, but we ended up spending many of them together enjoying our new found friendship. She owns her own business and was taking a well earned break after a pandemic of keeping her business strong, educating her children, and supporting her family. We immediately bonded over faith in the universe and believing you have the power to make your dreams come true. 

She introduced me to a book called 4000 Weeks by Oliver Burkeman. The cover of the German translation she showed me had four bananas on it. The top one green, the second a seemingly perfectly yellow banana, the third browning a little, and the bottom one with lots of black spots. It was easy to understand that if you only have 4000 weeks in your life (80 years) you can break up the 1000 weeks into these four banana stages. One afternoon we met in a park near a playground and and when I arrived she said, “I am watching the green bananas.” It took me a minute, but she meant the children!

I am in my second banana and very much enjoying the recent choices I have made to move to New York and start my own business, The Confidence Society. In Burkeman’s book, he reviews many different time management schemes and offers up many concepts and philosophies of being in the moment. One being to focus on the very important things you want and to accept that the secondary things you want, you will probably have to forgo because there is a finite amount of time. 

Over the past four months, I have been spending time with another new friend who is not someone I am particularly excited about, but they’re are consistent and persistent, so I say yes to hanging out with them. While reading 4000 Weeks, I realized that they were simply a distraction. Something I hoped would be valuable somehow, but really was not going anywhere. The conversation had ceased to be stimulating and meeting had become to feel obligatory. So, as my Swiss friend and I were having our farewell ice cream before she left to catch her flight home, I decided to cancel a date I had with my other friend. I announced this to my Swiss friend and she said, “You did it for banana reasons.”

For banana reasons! Exactly! I did it because today I am acutely aware of the limited time I have. I don’t have time to spend with people who don’t feel important at this time. Maybe another time, but probably not. My Swiss friend and I laughed at our new invention. For those who have a hard time admitting that they cannot do something because they are prioritizing themselves, you now have something to say: “I can’t for banana reasons.”

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