Happy Easter Weekend!
Last week was week 3 of working on “Facet No. 2 Another “A”: Ambition”.
As I said last week I made for myself a ginormous list of tasks to accomplish.
But again I didn’t complete everything on the list.
However, this time I didn’t beat myself up about it…everything that was most important got completed—including those things that just come up—stories that need to be told, toenails that need to be painted (mine are currently neon yellow as are most of my toes…thank you Grace! They look amazing—perfect for Easter…), and late night television viewing with my husband.
I also said that I felt like if I remembered to put first things first I would be more motivated and accomplish more. (This was true and even on a week where I had a bout with my stupid back problem!) Some of the things I did include cleaning out the van, doing my taxes, cleaning out and changing purses, and finishing Gracie’s Easter dress. I feel good about what I did and what I didn’t do can easily be taken care of this week.
A SECRET EXPERIMENT
I also this week tried a little secret experiment that goes against my usual line of thinking.
The thing is I’m a massive multi-tasker.
At any one time I can be found in the middle of about 18 different projects.
(I can’t even handle just reading a book…one book…by itself…I’m always in the process of reading at least 3 books at any one time…Right now I’m reading “Twenty Thousand Leagues Under The Sea”, “You Can Never Get Enough of What You Don’t Need”, and “Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children”)
But then recently something I read awhile ago has been running through my mind. It is a small segment of the book “Simple Abundance: A Daybook of Comfort and Joy”. It says:
“Serene women do not become sidetracked…Today, we must start to recover our sanity. The way we do this is to concentrate slowly on completing one task at a time, each hour of the day, until the day is over….What we will gain from this is the inner peace that comes from living fully in the present moment…
I realize, of course, that for most of us, accustomed as we are to performing six tricks simultaneously, what I’m proposing sounds ridiculous. You wonder how you’ll get everything done if you don’t do everything at once. But I assure you that you will accomplish all you set out to do with much more ease, efficiency, pleasure, and satisfaction when you merge, mind, body, and spirit with the task at hand.
And you will experience serenity.”
Until this past week I thought that Sarah Ban Breathnach had lost her mind ever single time I read this portion of her book. (And I seriously think I’ve read her book at least 5 times.)
I am one of those people who is doing everything at once—dinner is cooking, the laundry is strewn around in various stages, Simon is doing his homework, I’m hot gluing something while entertaining Ruth in her Bumbo, and answering phone calls…and I KNOW THIS IS NOT JUST ME…is it?
No, it’s not.
SO I tried it. Just one task at a time. It was painful. At first.
But then all of the sudden it felt liberating. I didn’t feel pulled in a million directions. I didn’t have to simultaneously need to keep tack of 8 different things or timers or anything. I just started one thing, focused on it alone, finished it, and moved it. So simple.
And the sewing…it was glorious.
When my kids were happily settled into activities—naps, coloring, Lego’s, whatever I focused on sewing. Without getting up 75 times to switch the laundry, sweep the floor, answer an email, whatever.
And my kids liked it to. Everything did seem more, well, serene. And I can not believe how much more I accomplished and it really did seem easier. I’m not kidding. It sounds crazy (at least to my mind set) but it’s true.
Sarah Ban Breathnach you are a genius.
And even though I’ll never give up my 85 books at once habit I’m going to continue to work on the completing one task at a time. That helped my level of ambition as much as anything this week.
FACET NO. 3—SOME ARE ALMOSTERS
This week I’m moving on to Facet No.3 in Daryl Hoole’s “The Art of Homemaking” book.
But since this has turned into the worlds longest post I’ll just give you the the intro and we can talk about it next week—after I try to figure out how to tackle this one.
“An ideal homemaker is devoted to the great career in which she is engaged. She is a professional in her field by being a homemaker every day and letting her devotion and sense of duty, rather than her moods, dominate her.”
Ok…um, any thoughts?
Have a happy–and serene—weekend!