As I browse Facebook today, a Saturday, I feel the panic rising in my throat. The panic that develops as a result of reviewing the catalog of inspiring things my friends have already accomplished and are continuing to do on this Saturday—while I am still in my pajamas and contemplating not getting out of them all day. Shuttling kids between Olympic level training sessions; grand vacations to exotic shores, smiling faces gathered at a delightfully unknown brunch location—this is what I see on FB. And all I want to do today is read, and sleep, and watch TV with my kids. The weather isn’t helping me motivate to do more (cold, snow / rain = wintry mix). But beyond that, the fact is that I am exhausted. Not that I’ve done anything particularly strenuous this week. The usual stuff of every day modern life: gym, work, meetings, a workshop, feed the family, music recital, remember to leave money for the piano teacher, sign report cards, realize the kids have already outgrown all their warm clothes, prepare the tax stuff for the accountant—all ordinary stuff.
I struggle with the feeling that I am wasting precious time by even considering that I can wave the white flag today and just chill. This is the expectations game that I play with myself.
Even as I write this I know I am not living up to my expectations for myself. This post should be illustrated with cute, clever images of the kids and me in our states of disrepair and slovenliness. I should be posting this on my blog, to increase my digital presence (a new year’s resolution thus far unfulfilled). Why I am wasting the time I have writing this? It is irrelevant in the discourse of modern life or working motherhood—each topics with more gifted and insightful emissaries than I. In fact this topic is over saturated. Why should I bother to add my voice?
I guess my question to myself is, is it OK to “waste” a day? To let the day unfold in a disorganized and unproductive way? Do I need to write my list today, and keep it? What happens if I let go? Will the children become deranged? Will the apartment fall in on itself? And what about that long list of things that never get done? What will happen in life if that list just remains intact?
I participated in WNYC’s New Tech City “Bored and Brilliant” project. I would recommend the podcasts for those of you who aren’t familiar with it. The benefits of boredom on the creative process were extolled. Of course the challenge is allowing oneself to be bored in our over stimulated culture.
I am reading the “Sweet Spot” and in that book the author, Christine Carter, PhD. Describes a life where good habits lead to more productivity and more free time. But try as I might, I can’t find the regular routine she requires to hang my newly productive habits off of. My life seems like I am reinventing the wheel every day. I don’t know why?
In “Play Big” Tara Mohr writes about finding your inner guide and controlling her negative voice. I want to do both those things but need time to finish reading this book and to complete all the exercises.
In “Your best year yet” the author Jinny S. Ditzler provides a framework for establishing well founded goals for the coming year. Ultimately you define 10 goals that address a 360 degree view of your life. But 10 seem too many goals for me, if running a home, working a job, raising children and participating in your community are add ons. I have 10 but think I will whittle them down to 5.
So at this point it is already past midday, and I am still in my PJs. I don’t know if I’ll keep the PJs on all day. But when they come off—it’ll be because I want to do something that requires a more formal dress. I’ve flown the white flag. My expectations for productivity today are low, expectations for boredom, freedom, and enjoyment are high.