You may have noticed I’ve taken a few days off from my brand new project. I strung together almost a week of posts then took almost as long off. Really shows a lot of dedication, huh? Most of the homework I’ve done on blogging indicates that daily or almost daily content is important to building a brand. With that knowledge, it may seem even more lame that I took a break off so early in my writing. Afterall, how do I expect to gain any ground on building my readership if I don’t post? And for the last few days I’ve carried this guilt and embarrassment.
Then I realized, I have no reason to be embarrassed or feel guilt. The purpose of this journey isn’t to gain readers or build a brand. Although those items would be an incredible blessing, the reason I added this project to my already overloaded schedule was to help me focus on my writing hobby, my personal growth, and my desire to slow down. Slowing down takes several forms and is, by far, the most challenging of my goals. Of course, I didn’t get to this break-neck speed overnight so, likewise, it’s unrealistic to expect the slow-down to happen in any noticeable increments. What is realistic is to accept what I can do, when I can do it. And if what I can do is taking a few days off a brand new adventure to focus on family events, that’s perfectly and wonderfully acceptable. There is no guilt in accomplishing only one goal at a time. When did a single focus become not enough? When did multi-tasking become the standard?
I look to my children often as a blueprint for how I should be. If you’re a parent, you know that we often learn more than we teach. My kids are much more engaging than the average adult I know and will talk with a non-stop stream of verbal deluge until you feel like your ears have fallen off. Most of the tsunami of ideas that flow freely from their mouth is interesting, articulate, and enjoyable binding you to their every word. Basically, my boys talk A LOT. I don’t mind that they talk non-stop, really I don’t. Unfortunately, my children can do nothing else while they spin their yarns. NOTHING else. I’ve grown weary while trying to patiently listen to their diatribe after stepping out of the bath but before getting on pj’s. I’ve aged days while waiting for the resolution to their lengthy and drawn-out scenarios of what-ifs while in reality I just want them to put on their shoes. I’ve watched them crawl into their car booster seats, shut their door, walked to the other side of the car, and opened the driver door only to confirm that their monologue took no pause with an absent audience and their belts are still unbuckled. In each of these instances, nothing else was accomplished. Nothing was multi-tasked to completion. No two birds with one stone. Their only focus was telling their story and, sadly, that focus was met with a mother that encouraged doing something else while speaking – in essence, asking a 4-year-old to multi-task.
His response when asked why he hadn’t buckled his seatbelt, or put on his shoes, or dressed into his pj’s is humbling, “Because I was telling you something important!”
In other words, at 4 years old, he’s too young to understand why we need to work so hard to accomplish so much while being fulfilled so little. He’s too young to understand why he should speak while tasking. For him, the joy is not in the destination but in the journey. There’s time for shoe tying after the story is told. Pj’s can wait until after his mom hears his hypothesis. His seatbelt can be clicked after he points out the bird singing. If you’re 4, or 7, there is no need to rush to accomplish. There is nothing more important than right now. There simply is no such thing as multi-tasking.
So if you’ve missed me for the last week, I’m so sorry. I’ve been busy taking things one at a time. I sincerely hope, though, you haven’t missed me; I hope you haven’t missed me because you’ve been unplugged & unrushed, spending days with those that matter, listening to each story, song, hypothesis, joke, testimony, or need. Days are short and unfortunately, this too shall pass.