Just doing

I haven’t blogged in awhile — and I miss it.

It was a much easier part of my daily routine when I was working full time and could take a mini-break here and there, but I’ve found it difficult to prioritize it when there’s a billion other things I need/want to do when not tending to the babes. Or potty training, play-dating, grocery shopping, vacuuming, laundering, freelancing, conversing and other -ings. “Do-ings,” if you will.

[Sidenote: I have my Nana’s old Bible — the one she thumbed through and read every night before bed. In the front cover, she scribed in beautiful, calligraphy-style handwriting: We are human beings, not human doings. I’m not totally sure what it means, but she felt compelled to jot it down — and in context of the sermon she was no doubt listening to when she wrote it, I’m sure it was very profound.]

But back to blogging.

I just finished reading a Matthew Kelly book called “Off Balance: Getting Beyond the Work-Life Balance Myth to Personal and Professional Satisfaction.” I read it, not because I’m struggling with work-life balance anymore, but because I love Matthew Kelly (you have to read Rhythm of Life if you haven’t already) and I like books that make me think about living “on purpose.”

In the book, Kelly writes a section titled “Kidnapped by the urgent.” He’s writing to mostly business people who are trying to find balance in their personal and professional lives — but he speaks to anyone who is wanting to live as productively and purposefully as possible. In it, he says:

So the bad news is that you cannot have it all. The good news is that you don’t really want it all. The even better news is that you can experience incredible levels of satisfaction both personally and professionally if you take the time to work out what matters most to you.

Without clarity around what matters most, without a clear value and priority structure that we can commit to, our lives tend to get kidnapped by the urgent. By this I simply mean that we give attention and intention to whatever is most urgent.

We wake up in the mornings and start doing urgent things, and we go to bed at night still doing urgent things. The problem with this is that the most important things are hardly ever urgent. We may have the sense that we are accomplishing many things, but in fact we may be accomplishing very little. The sense of accomplishment is a phantom.

When I first read it, I was like,  “Amen, brother! Yes! I am kidnapped by the urgent! I plan to go to Target and lo and behold, I’m stuck in the bathroom with a pooptastrophe! I plan to be on time to mass and a tantrum has us walkin’ in during the homily! I want to write a stinkin’ blog post and then the cat throws up on my bed!”

But then: Eureka.

Though Kelly makes a great point – and I get it from a life-plan perspective – I realized that what matters most in a mama’s life (whose personal life is also her profession) is the urgent. It’s the melt-downs and the clean-ups, the skinned knees and the sleepless nights. the potty breaks and the blow-outs and the unexpected “do-ings” that make our lives so very purposeful — and accomplished.

And though I would like to start getting up a bit earlier for a bit of “me time” to blog and sip some cafe con leche [and maybe, exercise?]… And though I would like to organize some awesomely structured curriculum that gives my little ones perfectly scheduled hours of intellectual stimulation… And though I would like to keep things clean and tidy and mostly dog hair-free, my life plan will always be full of the unplanned.

But the good news? That’s exactly where I’m supposed to be.

We may be human beings, but where I want to be is right here, right now, doing what matters most.

One Comment

  1. Love this, Lauren! Every time I call my mom feeling all down on myself because I can’t “keep up” with everything I’m trying to do – clients are waiting on images, my house is OUT OF CONTROL, I haven’t exercised regularly in yeards…. She reminds me of what a great job I’m doing with my boys. And I have to admit, I don’t feel like I’m slacking there. So really? I’m kicking ass.

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