Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Treasuring the "Doing"

“The biggest mistake I made as a parent is the one that most of us make. . .I did not live in the moment. I wish I had not been in such a hurry to get to the next thing. I wish I had treasured the doing a little more and the getting it done a little less.”
- Anna Quindlen

I've been making this mistake.  Yep, I sure have.  I treasure getting things done.  I love that "rush" I feel when I finish a blog post or a load or laundry or a new program on Power of Moms (just launched our new Bloom Game last night - wow that felt good).  It felt GREAT to finish the Retreat and see everything come together so well.  I think we all need to get things done.  When we're not progressing and accomplishing things, it's easy to get down on ourselves and life can look a little bleak.

But maybe sometimes the "doing" IS the accomplishment.

When I sit and read books with my kids the goal is not really to finish the book.  It's to enjoy the process of reading the book together and learning the lessons it offers.  When I go to my Learning Circle meeting (like I did tonight) the goal isn't to get the meeting done.  It's to enjoy the meeting and learn from each other and have fun together.

I need to apply this to more things in my life.  The main goal of bedtime shouldn't really be to get the kids in bed (although some nights that goal is paramount!).  Shouldn't it really be about snuggling with my kids, praying with them, reading to them, feeling a nice little end-of-the-day connection?  And maybe the goal of cleaning up the kitchen after dinner with my kids should actually be to talk and laugh while we work together. (The article "What's the Point of Housework?" taught me this).

I need to work on enjoying the "doing" and accepting the process as part of the goal.  It's the present that really counts.

My dad had us memorize this quote by the Sanscrit poet (whoever that is) when we were little and I haven't thought of it as much as I'd like:

"Yesterday is but a dream.  Tomorrow but a vision. But today, well lived, makes every yesterday a dream of happiness and every tomorrow a vision of hope.  Look well, therefore to this day."   

P.S. Now that I think of it, the Bloom Game actually helps with this - teaches us to seek out and savor the precious unplanned moments that come up in our lives while pursuing progress.  You actually get points in the game for the "serendipity moments" you notice and take advantage of in your daily life.  You can try the game for free and see what it does for you.  I seriously just put the thoughts of this post together with this game...


becca said...

When our last baby was born (over 11 years ago) I was more aware of how time flies by and wanted to keep him a "baby" as long as possible but even with this knowledge I've caught myself falling into this trap many times and have to remind myself to "enjoy the journey". Now our eldest is 19 and the thought of her leaving home makes me want to turn the clock back or at least slow it down :) I guess the answer lies in finding a healthy balance of "just coping" and "treasuring the doing". Thanks for sharing.

Hilary said...

I am trying to be really aware of those "moments" this summer.
Esp. since Conner is getting into a stage where I may not be as cool...
Anyway, just something I'm trying to work on too!

Patty Ann said...

I can so relate to this one. Sometimes we get so caught up in everything that needs to be done, we forget to take time to smell the roses in our lives. I love the quote that says:
Yesterday is the past, we cannot change it. Tomorrow is the future, it is only a dream. But today, is a gift, that is why they call it the present."

Stephanie said...

One of my favorite college professors always said:

"The purpose of the task is to strengthen the relationship".

I love this quote and work very hard to remember it when my kids are "slowing" me down.

Eyrealm said...

The Bloom Game is THE BEST! Unless I have goals written down and know that there is a time limit and a check and balance system I just don't get it done. Love it! What a great way to get yourself motivated to do what you need to do but just can't seem to get to it!


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