Now You See Me…

Lest I Make A Spectacle of Myself!

A few days ago, a fellow blogger asked her readers to share daily practices that served them well.   By my own admission, I struggle with consistency and organization.  I’ll get into a routine and not before long, I will be on to something else, tossing what originally worked, not because I want to, but because I haven’t stuck with it long enough to remember what worked in the first place! Blame it on my three darlings, who have an uncanny ability to make my thoughts vaporize before I can get them out of my head and on to paper.  Nonetheless, when asked this question about daily practices, I didn’t have to think too long or hard before I could rattle off a list of things. I don’t do these things every single day, but I manage to do them on most days, and from week to week. Together, they’ve become an integral part of my life and are rudimentary to my being, as they ensure that I thrive as a wife and mother, and any other roles in which I am required to be effective. In order, I listed the following:

  • I love.
  • I eat.
  • I find and create the JOY within.
  • I post motivational words on Facebook, or quip about an observation that left an indelible mark on me.
  • I write.
  • I drink coffee.
  • I kiss and tell my husband and children that I love them…again…and again…I didn’t hear those words much as a child (making up for ‘lost’ time?).
  • I crochet orders for my business, HomeSpun Handmades.
  • I workout – 3-5x a week. It’s MY Prozac.  (This usually includes some form of cardio, and most definitely jumping rope and dancing, spinning, or teaching fitness, all while listening to some bangin’ beats!)
  • I dance…like no one’s watching! Seriously.

Though I’m pleased that I can do these things on a regular enough basis, I’m not so pleased about what I conveniently left out – those practices that I find myself guilty of not doing on a regular enough basis.  Undoubtedly, their incorporation would also serve me well. I think that if I am to engage you in conversation about authentic relationships, and owning up to our own truths, I should at least be transparent and allow you to touch and feel me in my wholeness – in my abilities as well as my limitations, in my convictions as well as my fears, and in my shortcomings as well as my successes.  I want you to get a glimpse of my fullness as I believe that it is what makes me uniquely designed for this ministry of writing, of inspiring, of relating, of creating. 

Therefore, in an effort to present myself whole, balanced, flawed, and human, I’ve put together a list of those practices in which I know I come up short.  (Warning: This list is by no means exhaustive.)

  • Pray – I would like to pray more…more actively…more fervently…more meditatively…without ceasing.
  • Intently study the Bible and the Quran, as well as other spiritual books and principles of thought on the subject of God, his centrality, his universality. 
  • Read.  Allow me to qualify.  I read, but I find that I don’t complete enough books.  On my nightstand is my nook, as well as a few other books that I go in and out of, all of which require completion.  On my windowseat is more of the same, including Wally Lamb’s “I Know This Much Is True“, Walter Mosley‘s “This Year You Write Your Novel“, my leather-bound journal, and a black hard plastic spiral bound notebook in which I also keep my writing.  I am often reading more than one book at a time, for different reasons.  For instance, I’m currently reading “The Crafts Business Answer Book” by Barbara Brabec, and “Traveling with Pomegranates: A Mother-Daughter Story“, by Sue Monk Kidd, and Ann Kidd Taylor.  (I kid you not! 😮  Aside: One of my personal literary goals is to penetrate, explore, and ultimately demystify the mother-daughter mystique through my own experience, while referring to the vast knowledge already written on the subject.)  I imagine that the abundance of books, and simultaneous reading of a few, is typical and necessary for burgeoning authors.  Let’s hope that I’m right!
  • Be a master administrator.  I’d like to be more consistent in managing the administrative end of my home-based business.  Admittedly, it’s so much easier and rewarding for me to create the products than it is for me to track expenses, enter sales, and build an online presence.  Though I quietly acknowledge the importance of the behind-the-scenes work that goes into any business, for-profit or non-profit, I despise the minutia that goes along with it.  The devil is in the details, I know.
  • Give myself enough quiet time.  Ummmm…Namaste.  In the hurriedness of my day and managing my household and all that comes along with it, the desire to devour my to-do list whole, not burn daylight, and meet deadlines (many of which are self-imposed), leaves me with little unadulterated, unfiltered quiet time to do absolutely nothing.  This is a guilty pleasure in which I need more indulgence, as I’m certain that it will afford me clarity in many areas of my life, but I sometimes tend to override it when it’s within view because somewhere down the line, I’ve been trained to “get it done”.    

Whew! Glad I got that all out there! Don’t judge me! LOL! 😮 Are there some areas in your own life where you feel you come up short? Better said, are there practices that you’d like engage in more regularly, that you know without a doubt, would make you more effective?  Please don’t tell me that this is a one-woman show.  Do tell!

Yay Me!

How many times have you turned on the stove to boil water for tea, to remember that you did so only when you actually heard the whistle?  Too many times, I manage my day based on what screams for my immediate attention.  “The squeaky wheel gets the grease”, goes the old saying, but today I vowed to take care of the bigger and more critical matters that would transport us well into the future and pay dividends for our family in the long run.  Though less demanding and intrusive, I knew that these matters had the potential to bubble over as they seemed to only require that I check on  them sporadically as they were now on a slow, less threatening simmer setting. 

I find myself wanting to streamline my visible spaces, and de-clutter them in a big way as their physical existence beckons for my touch.  I look at everything in my home with a keen eye, asking myself whether it should stay or go.  I’m on a mission to give away the things in our home that can bless others, discard the stuff that nobody would want, and organize what’s left. 

Lately however, despite my deepest desires to cut the clutter and trim the fat in more places than one, I’ve had to become much more disciplined about managing my time versus organizing my tangible space and things to ensure that the “must-do’s” don’t fall through the cracks.  As a result, I’m left with very little time to focus on the “nice-to-do’s”, including any major de-cluttering.  Since I’m not diagnosed OCD – self or medically – you don’t have to worry about finding me on my hands and knees cleaning out corners or color-coding towels in the linen closet.  After all, I’d hate to raise the bar too high. 🙂 Nonetheless, I’ve had to become more diligent and discerning about those matters that should command my time and attention, versus those matters that only seem urgent because of their visibility. 

So today, while I didn’t do a whole lot of organizing or de-cluttering, I was most definitely in the zone!  I rode that wave of productivity and held her hostage until she said “I surrender! No mas! Qué quieres de mί, mujer?” 🙂  I so needed a day like today.  Though it began with my being less bright-eyed and bushy-tailed than usual, I felt really good.  Like most mornings, I am so happy to be alive when I wake up, that I’d jump to kiss the sun if I could…especially after a really great cup of coffee!  Seriously.  I revel in the knowledge that I’ve been given another day, another tabula rasa…another chance to get it right.  What unseats me more than being sleep-deprived is not being productive.  When I know that I’ve procrastinated long enough on something, and can’t find the words to explain why, I feel less than adequate, because I have only myself to blame.  So despite my needing a few additional hours of sleep, I was determined to make it a good day, to organize myself versus my things, to be productive, to be at peak performance, and I would not, and did not, settle for anything less! 

Should I learn tomorrow that some things did, in fact, fall through the cracks, I will chalk it up to them just not being all that important in the first place.  Today’s clarity will not be contested.  I still might not get the doctor-recommended, coveted eight hours of sleep tonight, but I will rest well with the contentment that came from a day well-lived.  Yay me!  Everyone needs a “yay me” day.

Focus on the Now!

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This morning, I am resisting the urge to multi-task. I’ve gathered many an injury, as of late, doing just that – holding my toddler on one hip, both arms loaded with bags, and pushing the storm door open with my right heel, all within the 20 seconds remaining before the alarm is engaged. “Alarm on!”  Yes, ring the alarm, and slow it down a bit!

I am so used to having more than one pot on the fire – literally and figuratively. Somehow, I think it will just take too long to do one thing at a time.  So this morning, while I’m writing, I’m resisting the urge to check email, the weather, and Facebook, all at the same time.  Trust me, this is a real challenge to my self-diagnosed ADD behind! (Hey, there will be no LOLing here!) 🙂

I am in the present, in the now, and except for the occasional sip of coffee that I’m taking, I’m fully committed to completing this morning’s post.  I’m going to conscientiously try this exercise a few times today, because I am hoping for increased clarity, and enhanced productivity in the fewer things that I’ll attempt, rather than mediocrity that is certain if I attempt too much.

Gotta dash! This exercise can only last so long.   How do you focus on the now?