Here’s What I’m Thinking

by Courtney Sirotin on February 19, 2013

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Even though I’m a messy and disorganized person, in other ways I’m way too productive. I’m constantly rushing to finish a task of seemingly monumental importance, when really, its often just trivial. I’m sure you can relate. Have you ever had it in your mind to do something under a self-imposed deadline, such as challenging yourself to empty the dishwasher, switch the laundry and shower in the ten minutes remaining before you have to head out the door to go somewhere? Technically, the dishes and laundry could wait for your return (you should probably shower…), but it just feels so good to have those tasks completed before you leave the house, so you rush around and try to do them. My thinking today is that I am prioritizing things all wrong. A lot of life is happening in those brief ten minutes that I’m rushing around and I could be spending them in less productive, though perhaps more meaningful, ways. Besides, there will always be more chores to do when I get home, so my To Do list is never really empty.

I was listening to an audiobook on way home from dropping Dylan off at preschool this morning. The book is The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield and both the writing and story are phenomenal. A character in the book was sitting on a window ledge watching raindrops form on the window and my first thought was, “That sounds boring.” My second thought was, “Maybe not.” Watching rain fall is just an activity that isn’t valued properly, like how teachers make less money than professional basketball players.

How long has it been since I’ve sat still long enough to study a rain drop? Such an activity seems pointless, even lazy, when you have an endless list of things you need to accomplish in order to survive in this demanding world. Except, when I think about allowing myself time to pause and simply observe things taking place, whether that’s watching the rain or listening to the melodic hum of electronics inside my house, I have this feeling that I would be a better, more creative person.

How can I expect to write well, come up with new activities to do with Dylan or create a vision for my future if I don’t have creative reserves to call upon? When I’m searching for inspiration, it is the bevvy of small, yet densely meaningful experiences I have engaged in that come to the surface. It has been too long since I’ve refilled my internal bucket with simple and pure moments of observation. So, what I am thinking today is that I’m going to allow myself more of those kinds of moments to tune out. Don’t tell Jay, though, because he’d say I’m never fully tuned in to begin with. Winking smile

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

MR. MESSY February 25, 2013 at 6:10 pm

Just visited your blog , but thought you would benefit from the following quotation:

“Clutter and mess show us that life is being lived…Tidiness makes me think of held breath, of suspended animation… Perfectionism is a mean, frozen form of idealism, while messes are the artist’s true friend. What people somehow forgot to mention when we were children was that we need to make messes in order to find out who we are and why we are here.”

Anne Lamott –

Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life

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RYDER JACKSON March 9, 2013 at 2:33 am

Very interesting post and comments. I agree! I am thinking that one of the joys of having little ones around us that it gives us the chance to stop and observe nature more closely. We study the clouds in the sky, or watch a bird up in a tree, or study the snowflakes falling. It feels good to slow down and look at things with wonder as if we are observing them for the first time.

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DONNA CUSHING March 9, 2013 at 2:36 am

Wow! Ry thinks just like me!

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