After walking around Greenlake with four dogs, a friend, and my camera, having shot at least 50 frames, its this image that gets the nod. This one actually happened as I was sitting at my desk about to connect my camera and upload the day’s photographs to my computer. I looked up, saw the dramatic light, grabbed my camera, and jumped out the window. True… I do jump out the window to shoot periodically, because there are only windows off the back of our house that gives onto an upper balcony, and the view from there is often breathtaking. So technically, I jump out the window. Every once in a while, the winners actually come to me. I did nothing to seek out the most beautiful light or setting today. It was actually given to me, clearly.
Every day I open my email inbox to about three or four inspirational messages. Sometimes I take the time to read all of them, but usually at least two. In the past two days, I think I’ve read at least five of these messages confirming the lesson that I need to learn at this moment in my life; that I simply cannot, no matter how badly I want to, do as many things as I am trying to do every day. The clearest and most direct bit of advice came from “The Universe”.
Of all the things that matter, Cami, that really and truly matter, working more efficiently and getting more done is not among them.
And, quite accidentally, Cami, such an appreciation leads to greater efficiency and more productivity. Not that that really matters.
Some part of me must be listening. I didn’t get much done today. A good friend suggested that I congratulate myself for that fact, but my whole being still rebels at the thought of giving myself a pat on the back for wasting time. She suggests that I could probably shift my whole paradigm and stand it on its head. How do I do that?
Yesterday, I decided that this way of operating had to go when I heard both my daughters making comments that reflected the same kind of thinking that haunts me. Both worried about “missing out” on something and were unable to make decisions about what to do as a result of it. Charlotte was actually concerned that she didn’t really want to go to Florida for spring break because she figured that at this time of her life she should be wanting to go, and maybe she’d really miss out if she didn’t go do what she really didn’t want to do anyway. I groaned inwardly, recognizing the pattern. I figured that they hadn’t licked this habit off the wind, and no amount of telling them about my experience of this not working was going to do any good. I am going to have to set a better example.
My efforts at tackling this today, aside from dilly-dallying at Greenlake with the dogs and my young friend, were in the area of trying to assess and measure how much I realistically can do and be present in the experience, without trying to figure out how I’m going to manage the next thing on my agenda; or better yet, where I’m going to find the time to put the next thing on my agenda. I may be doing exactly the thing that I said I wanted to do at that very moment and still be drawn out of it by what’s coming next, or what I should be doing. My wise friend told me that earlier this week, she was given the opportunity to do just exactly what she was craving, a little bit of time to lay on the couch, looking out the window… to read, or not read, doze or not, without any calls on her time. She has a young daughter, and another child on the way, so this completely free moment was an unexpected, glorious surprise. She said that to her dismay, she found herself thinking about what she should be doing with the time other than take advantage of it to do what she had been craving. Soon, instead of relishing and enjoying the moment, she was taken out of it and feeling anxious about all that “other stuff”. She said that she had to consciously disengage her mind from one “idea” after another of all the other things she could be doing before she could take a deep breath and truly sink into the gift of time on the couch.
I was grateful that she relayed the story, because hearing it, I wanted to protect that moment for her. Of course she should have a morning on the couch. She works a lot, she’s a wonderful person, and pretty soon she’ll have another baby demanding her attention. Who would begrudge her one minute of that time. Even the thought of her sitting on the couch helped me relax, and I felt the sacredness of that precious interval.
So tonight, its only 11:30 and I’m signing off, turning off my computer and going to drink a cup of bedtime tea before I tuck myself into bed. Everything else can wait.