I sat down with a friend of mine who has run her own company for years and last year decided to quit and be a mom. Wow, I say with envy. There is just not enough world and time for what I want to do in a day and being a mom is nearly 24/7. And so everything is suffering. The dog, Heidi, who is staying with us for a bit, is not getting her walks. The blogs are not getting written. I’ve taken on additional work to pay the bills and although it has barely started, I’m already behind.
My friend had me write up a list and pointed out the things that matter in the long-term and how to invest my quality time on them, while giving short shrift to the things that have to be done. We made columns, we drew dollars signs with arrows, we gave descriptors like stress, passion, and we figured out a pie chart of my to do list.
The crazy thing is that my working pie is four hours long. That’s right, from dropping Tin off at school and getting back home and then going to pick him up – there is four solid hours where I can work on my work – not eat, not rest, not be – but work. It’s nutty.
So I say this only to give a little perspective to what we fill our days with – I have moved all priorities down to say that I am first, a mother, I’m next a writer, and I have to earn money. My friend was careful to point out that one thing that I’ve spent so much time on, does not require my time, I have perfected it – it won’t get any more perfect – so move on. Whew. That’s a relief.
In the physical realm – I’ve also lost about twelve pounds since going to the doctor’s office and being shocked into reality. That’s a truly great accomplishment considering the whirlwind that is my life over the past few months. A friend sent me a photo of my butt that he had snapped at the Blues Festival – he told me I have a nice one – who knew?
Today another friend posted on his website a note about aging, and coincidentally, the aging butt. Another affirmation that aging takes on its own form of beauty and acceptance is the first opening towards that beauty.
Not having time to write means that I’ve also been spending a lot of time reading. It’s been a long time since I’ve devoured books at the clip I’m at right now, but that’s where my head is – I’m like a sponge at the moment. I’ve also spent a lot of time being me and making peace with who I am and what I want to do in life. A friend who called me this week said that I have such radical ideas – really? – me? – no, I just want my version of the world to live in, not other’s.
So here’s a few excerpts from my latest reads that have helped me smile and say, this path that I’m on feels right on:
It is better to do your own duty
badly, than to perfectly do
another’s; you are safe from harm
when you do what you should be doing.
The Power of Now:
All inner resistance is experienced as negativity in one form or another.
Ralph Waldo Emerson
To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.
We cannot possibly go on as we are psychologically. There must be vast, profound changes, not only in the outward structure of society but also in ourselves because the society in which we live, the culture in which we have been brought up, is part of us. The social structure, the culture, is what we have created. So we are the culture and the culture is us. We are the world and the world is us. If you are born in a particular culture, you represent that culture. You are a part of it, and to change the structure of that culture you have to change yourself.