Human Doings vs. Human Beings

My husband recently said to me, “You’re like the Energizer Bunny’s mother: you are always going.”

The multi-tasking trifecta: laptop, cell phone, home phone

I’ve often prided myself in how much I can accomplish in a short amount of time, taking multi-tasking to an entirely new level. I am an avid list-maker. Before sleep but after having crawled into bed, I will fumble around in the dark for note paper and pen to write thoughts about chores, people to call, items to bring with me on the next day’s outings. Sometimes I wake up with 10 notes littering my bedside.

While I am proud of my platinum multi-tasker status, I worry that I am moving myself and my family further away from what truly matters in life: people, love, happiness. I see more and more that I am not alone in feeling like a lot is going on and we are losing our way: a friend in Bethesda and I are trying to plan a pumpkin patch outing with our husbands and one kid a piece. Between travel schedules, visitors, work assignments and infant classes, we found just one date in all of October that would work.

“When did life get so crazy?!”, she emailed me. My question is, rather, “How do we keep our lives from getting so crazy?” How do I instill in my baby girl (six months old today!) that life is not about getting through the current thing to get to the next thing? And how do I protect our time in an organic way so it’s not in itself another thing to do?

Doing chores while keeping baby happy

I am starting to follow blogs of people – mothers, mostly – who try to live a simple life (check them out in the list to the right under Other Blogs You’ll Like or in some links on my page, Inspiring & Interesting). Perhaps they’re aided by living in rural places like Maine or Appalachia with lower costs of living and no rush hours. Or maybe just by living away from a metropolitan area they inherently create less pressure to lead busy lives.

In yoga today, the instructor read a great passage that I am compelled to share. It’s lengthy, but right on the money:

To have your attention in the Now is not a denial of what is needed in your life. It is recognizing what is primary. Then you can deal with what is secondary with great ease. It is not saying, “I’m not dealing with things anymore because there is only the Now.” No. Find what is primary first, and make the Now into your friend, not your enemy. Acknowledge it, honor it. When the Now is the foundation and primary focus of your life, then your life unfolds with ease. ~ from Stillness Speaks by Eckhart Tolle

So, how do you keep your life from getting crazy?

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6 thoughts on “Human Doings vs. Human Beings

  1. Some of the “Crazy” is really fun though. I think we need to differentiate the crazy fun with crazy not-so-fun first and see where that takes us.
    I am also worried that you will run out of note paper one night and start writing on my arm!

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  2. You are so right. People overschedule themselves to an extreme it seems. Plenty of my mom friends feel like they are drowning with everything on their to-do lists and ticking off things on their calendars. I hate the feeling of being overwhelmed, so I don’t feel bad about having to say no to things. My time is precious and so I do think about how I want to use any free time I may have–which, as a stay-home mom, is very limited!

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  3. Just wait until they start school! : ) That’s when your time really gets eaten up — and you can’t really decide to skip the concerts or the back-to-school nights.

    I have a whole slew of organizing blogs that I follow (because it’s more fun to read about organizing then to actually DO it! ) and they are very helpful. One of my favorites is “I’m an Organizing Junkie.” She does a “Meal Plan Monday” weekly post that I find very useful.

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  4. I thought I was the only one who did that – ‘list making after dark!’ But I think that I think better when my mind is relaxed. I find that I can focus in on my priorities by jotting down notes while in bed!

    Recently read “Glass ceilings and 100-hour couples: what the opt-out phenomenon can teach us about work and family,” by Karine S. Moe, Dianna J. Shandy. In it the authors discuss why college educated women are opting-out of their careers to improve their quality of life. I welcomed the validation for all of the time, work and pressure involved in parenting.

    Keep up the high-quality blog – it’s an informational feast for us NOVA moms!

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  5. Pingback: A Swedish Lifestyle in Metro DC: A Photo Essay | So Very Vienna: A New Mom's Adventures Around Town

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