Thursday, July 10, 2008

Are You Staying Busy?

Hi Everyone! I can't believe that it's really been TWO WEEKS since I've blogged! Whoa!

You might naturally assume that I've been busy. We are all busy, trying to find time to fit everything in. I read, at Me Ra's suggestion, The Two-Hour Workweek by Timothy Ferris. It's one of those paradigm shift type books that shows you a totally different way to think about living life and earning an income than our parents' generation, or what we grew up with. But the best realization I've had in the past year or so, is that we normally think of being busy as a good thing, maybe tiring, but we all tend to look on the bright side and thing about what's positive about being busy. Well, I've successfully made a mental shift, and came to this conclusion. "I don't WANT to be busy." Last year, I booked 6 weddings six weeks in a row. I told my husband that it was an experiment, I wanted to see what it was like and if it threw our world into disarray, I'd never do it again. Well, it turned out to be not too bad. It was more manageable than I thought. The downside was, I missed a lot of weekend activities like camping, birthdays, and general hanging out with family and friends. So even though I can physically do it, I still decided I'd never do it again. Sometimes in life we need to draw a line in the sand. Spreading out my schedule was an answer to a Quality of Life issue, an issue that stares me blank in the face as I realize my 9 year old grew a half inch in the last 30 days. That either I'm going to teach my 5 year old how to play "Old Maid" and see the excitement of her pulling her first match out and laying on the table, or the delight as she sees that her opponent is about to pick the "Old Maid" from her hand.

Oh, and I promised my 9 year old son I'd blog about the fact that I was in his room yesterday, helping him clean it. He brought home this science project from school a month ago, where they took dead bees and glued them to toothpicks and pollinated flowers with them. I thought I was being pretty lax by just allowing him to keep it for a while. But no, he actually wants to keep it. Good Lord. So I used a Mother's Secret Weapon---leverage. "Drew, you can either keep your Old Lego Magazines, or that dead bee on a stick." He thought. "Honey, seriously, listen to how that sounds." We both broke out in laughter, I joked about blogging about it, and then he happily tossed the stick and the bee out.

I can guarantee, if I was "busy" that day, I would never have been in his room cleaning and relaxed enough to use leverage and joking to let him come to his own conclusion, that as cool as a dead bee on a stick is, it's not worth keeping.

I also love to read. But I just don't lately. So I just started up again.

Oh and my garden, you have to see that I actually grew a real brocolli stalk!

And if someone has asked me if I've been busy in the last two weeks, the answer honestly is "no". And I'm totally thrilled with it. I've sat and talked with neighbors. I baked biscuits from scratch. I played badminton. I took a nap in the hammock for the first time ever. I vaccuumed my car before it got waay too bad. And I think most importantly, I've decided that for REAL this time, I am resetting my habits and the habits of the household for more peaceful and streamlined functioning.

I heard this really great quote, "Momentum in our habits can be enormous." The definition of Enormous is: "1. Abnormal. Inordinate b. exceedingly wicked: shocking. 2: marked by extraordinarily great size, number or degree.

But it's just MOMENTUM. And momentum is, well, "a property of a moving body that determines the length of time required to bring it to rest when under the action of a constant force."

I don't know about you, but for me, it made me see habits as something I was able to control and change. It's just momentum, and if I want it bad enough, I can change the momentum and make it go in another direction with just as much "shocking" force, and it will take just as much enormous force to undo the change once the momentum is in full force.

It's really talking about US. WE have enormous momentum at our fingertips, and if neglected, it just gets going in directions we don't like. Once I heard this quote, I felt really powerful to change.

If you are still reading this, you might be wondering, "But with the economy how it is, doesn't spreading out your photography schedule make it tougher?" Sure it does. But I have more time to really brainstorm and come up with creative ways to adjust income and expenses. And nap in the hammock. I think one of the positive sides of $4.35 cent gas and grocery bills going up $20 is that it FORCES us to reevaluate what's IMPORTANT in our lives. It FORCES us to focus. It FORCES us to use our brains in ways we maybe haven't in a while. And all those are really good things...

No comments: