My friend Cindy is a dynamo who wears many hats…interfaith minister, massage therapist, artist, writer, teacher, photographer and all around accomplished Renaissance woman. She is known among her many friends as a loving, giving, you can-count-on-go-to-person. This past weekend, she spent time in the presence of 6 dogs and 4 birds…critter sitting, I would guess. She posted on fb that she “did nothing of value” throughout the day, except finish a 647 page novel, take a nap and enjoy take-out Chinese food, as if somehow she was becoming a slacker-couch spud who would grow moss under her feet if she wasn’t more active.
Does that ever sound familiar?! I had discovered after years of buzzy-busy-ness for fear that if I stood still, I would never get through the lengthy list of my responsibilities, that I accomplish more if I do take time to refresh my energetic stores. My wise mother used to say ”The hurrier I go, the behinder I get.” In childhood, it didn’t make sense; paradoxical as it was. Now in my 5th decade, it is one of the most logical statements imaginable. I notice that when I do things in a rushed, unconscious way, I often need to re-do whatever it is that I was zooming to get done in the first place. On any given weekday, my schedule looks like this: awaken by 6:30 (sometimes as early as the birdies start chirping since menopause kicked in and I would love to kick it back…shocking for this pacifist ‘nice girl’ who can’t imagine kicking anything): do some writing and fb posting (my son calls me an addict, but I remind him that while some is socializing, most is social media/networking), get ready for my full time job as a social worker in a psych hospital, drive the 30 some minutes to work, put in my day there, sometimes teaching classes afterward, coming home, having a light dinner, going to the gym for my ‘play-out’, back to the keyboard for more writing/PR work….and yes, there is time for hanging out with friends/loved ones. That doesn’t include ‘normal people’ stuff like cleaning, laundry, grocery shopping, errands, yard work and paying bills. I saw a poster years ago with the names of famous people written across it. Inventors, performers, authors…and it said something like ‘these people had the same 24 hours a day as you do.’ Hmmm… no excuses there. It seems to be about using the time wisely. Now that doesn’t mean that goofing off is out of the question.
That brings me to the point of this entry…we are not human doings, we are human BE-ings; so why do so many of us spin our wheels, getting stuff done rather than resting when it is called for and then feeling guilty if we do? I wish I had the ultimate answer to that question. My friend Brian asks me periodically if I am taking time to stop and smell the roses, echoing the reminder that my mother would give me as well when she heard about my outrageous schedule. Lately (since my Mom died, it seems) I have been immersing in ‘me time’ sans guilt. I make a list of ‘get to’s’ rather than ‘got to’s’. This 4th of July weekend was mostly about the first category. I went to a kirtan on Friday night at a yoga studio with friends, went to a dance party/gathering at another friend’s wooded property on Saturday. When I was at Nancy’s place, I contented myself several times by perching on an under-spreading-trees swing, lazily moving back and forth as I observed my friends talking, laughing, hugging, eating and dancing. In the past I would have felt a compelling need to be in the midst of the action, for fear that I would miss something (kind of like a little kid who doesn’t want to take a nap) and now I glean pleasure from being the witness to it all, just soaking it in. I had some pampering time with gym, haircut and pedicure on Sunday; my bright red toes feel celebratory when I gaze down at them and want to dance. At the moment, they are resting after mowing the lawn, weeding, hauling and spreading mulch. Although you might think that activity would go on the ‘got to’ list, the satisfaction that comes from my beautified yard makes it a ‘get to’.
A year ago, I would have asked “Who is this pod person?” and now I embrace that mellower aspect of myself who reaps even more benefit by merging with music, as I am doing now as I type this…a cover of Seals and Croft’s Summer Breeze and feeling no urgency to do anything at the moment but as my friend Ram Dass says “Be here now.”
What are your ‘get to’s'? How often do you gift yourself with time just doin’ nuthin’….?
What are your ‘got to’s'? Do you procrastinate doing them? If so, how might you benefit from viewing them as ‘get to’s’ too?
Here is Jason Mraz’ cover of Summer Breeze http://youtu.be/OJdXXT1ptTs