Friday, September 11, 2015

Thoughts on Productivity

summer mornings

A good number of my summer mornings looked like this photo. And by mornings, I mean until it was noon, or nearly. Kids to my left or in their room, or maybe even downstairs, if I was lucky. Coffee on the nightstand to my right, cat on my lap. It was sublime. It didn't happen every day by any stretch of my overactive imagination, but it happened often enough. From time to time, I'd feel a bit guilty about the level of relaxation I was reaching and think I should get up and do something productive, but then I stopped myself. Because I know how life goes, and I know that rest is productive, too.

Maybe not everyone's life goes like mine does, but I often feel that there is no middle speed. There is GO FAST NOW DO NOT STOP and there is the above pictured scenario. One or the other. Sometimes this is by choice, I'll admit, but much of the time the busy days/weeks/months ambush me. I'll be thinking that we have hit our stride, that things are going to be smooth sailing, and then BAM. NO WAY, LADY. Off I go, with one million things to do (approximately) and a stroller to haul up and down the Tube stairs while I do them.

There was a time that I felt that every moment should be busy, that if I had time to spare, I should be doing something. If I wasn't doing something, I felt obligated to at least feel guilty about my lack of tireless effort. I got very good at feeling guilty, but that never translated into the ability to gain enough extra energy to do more things well.

Instead, over time I simply realized that rest is productive, and I worked to change my perspective to be able to embrace the times of rest. These summer mornings of being able to shove aside the feelings of guilt and enjoy the moment have been years in the making. At first I only allowed rest if I thought I might be getting sick. Then I got on the good sleep bandwagon. Now I realize fully that resting when I have the opportunity is what allows me to kick it into gear and get everything done when I need to.

Today I had a very busy day. The weekend ahead is full, and if we're going to get where we need to go with all our stuff in tow, we need to have everything prepared in advance. So I made myself a vat of coffee this morning and worked hard all day, not sitting down until dinner time, when I laid my head on the table for five seconds and took a few deep breaths, then ate in a hurry and got back to work. It was no big deal. I'd taken the time to rest when I had the opportunity, and I had energy to spare. Perfect.

1 comment:

  1. I am all for resurrecting the Fine Womanly Art of Relaxing.


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