We adopted a cat a couple of months ago. We named her Zelda because she’s a total princess. We’ve always longed for more pets. The question was never if it was always when and which one. On our search this summer we endured a peculiar trip to the pound, shut in a room with a couple of different cats that just didn’t feel right for our family. We also met a sweet high energy dog who probably would have liked Bingley until he tired out. We weren’t sure if she’d be helpful to entertain Bingley or if she’d just add more chaos than we needed. Ultimately we couldn’t get a good read on how she felt about Felicity. Then we met Zelda at an adoption event. Her foster mom said that she was the snuggliest of all her cats. She was exactly what we were looking for. She’s purring and curled up on my lap this very moment.
With a new little member in our home I’d been feeling the need to multitask just to be sure everyone’s basic needs were met. Everyone has the same hours in a day and we all roughly need the same amount of sleep. What do we do in that extra space of time? Are you listening to a podcast while you drive, are you washing the dishes while the pot on the stove is boiling over? Dressing while you brush your hair? Are you on a call while sifting through your phone? Scrolling and scrolling in the checkout line, or at the red light? It’s so tempting to multitask in those free spaces.
I’ve been going through this journaling book and have loved that the title itself beckons to be still. One of the first articles expresses the need for us to do one thing at a time, something we’ve lost in effort to keep up with our schedules. Are we accomplishing twice as much in a day or are we simply not paying enough attention? We’re probably putting sloppy work out there. We’re probably missing out on some key moments in our lives. Is the person you’re on the phone with worth your undivided attention? Does that relationship deserve to grow and flourish and can it really if half your mind is elsewhere? Could that email be sent out in another hour so that you can bask in the childhood happiness of your little one?
Mr. Darcy says it best,
“The power of doing anything with quickness is always much prized by the possessor, and often without any attention to the imperfection of the performance.”
Shouldn’t we be slowing down and doing one thing at a time? I wrote this out last night and this afternoon I still found myself scrambling to type a text out to my sister whilst helping Felicity with her spoon and then grabbing a bite of lunch myself. Felicity’s spoon dropped, rice went everywhere. I find I’m usually most frustrated when I’m trying to accomplish two things at once. Typically one thing gets the short end of the stick and I spend more time fixing that than I would have if I had put them in order where they belonged. Can anyone relate to this? One thing at a time.
Would I have heard the birds and wind chimes if i’d had my headphones in, half listening to the whirring TED talk in my ears? Do I really need to listen to another TED talk about mindfulness? Probably not, I just need to take the headphones out and be mindful already. Would the older woman have spoken to me in the checkout telling me that my daughter was beautiful if I had my nose buried in my phone? On a scarier note, what could happen to you and anyone else on the road around you as a result of your distracted driving? I know what you’re thinking, “But I have to multitask. I’m running out of me time, I’m running out of daylight.” and that my friends is where I think we have it all wrong. The answer isn’t to squeeze in twice as much in your day the answer is to knock some things off of your schedule. Re prioritize your life and at the end of the day let go of the things that you didn’t get to. I’m preaching to myself mostly here because I’ve felt this tug in the direction of doing things well. Not doing it all, but doing enough and doing it well.
The next article in my book spoke about how we seldom walk for the pleasure of walking. We’re often on a mission from point A to point B. Rarely do we walk through fields of wildflowers anymore, scarcely do we even know their names let alone their medicinal properties. This fascinated me. Surely there was such a time when people walked everywhere and I’m not talking about a city person who doesn’t own a car. I’m talking walking through a pathless field with absolutely no agenda. We don’t have that luxury anymore these days! Wouldn’t that have been lovely to do? Alone with your thoughts or a book in a field of wildflowers. That’s a place for castles in the air.
“Knowledge is also a joy for its own sake. Knowing more about something makes the world a richer place. …to someone with a bit of botanical knowledge, those pretty flowers by the road are a lively mix of cow parsley, yarrow, and yellow rattle. They actually see more, and that enriches their lives.”
I found this quote inspiring and had to share. I’m always searching for life’s simple pleasures in the small things, seeking to grow and enrich my own life I thought maybe I’d learn the names of a plant or two, see what it did for me. I hastily snatched this book off of the library shelf and was not disappointed. I learned that this beautiful garden exists in Morocco.
Though I didn’t particularly learn the names of certain plants I did learn about different gardens around the globe. The traveler in me didn’t even know at the time how much I longed for this. A couch vacation I like to call it. Reading a travel journal can quench one’s Fernwehfarsickness or longing for far-off places until the next trip. I don’t know what your loves are but I can tell you that learning more about them or learning more about something you might just want to know about can indeed enrich your life. This is all in effort to say that when we’re open to new ideas, taking in things we wouldn’t have normally in our every day I think we can grow as people. Maybe we’re not walking through the wildflowers anymore to learn about a plant’s medicinal properties but perhaps we’re having a conversation with someone who’s walked a different walk than ourselves. Perhaps we’re learning about foreign words out there that describe precisely how we feel in a moment helping us not to feel as alone.
That’s all I really wanted to share with you today. Take it easy, one thing at a time and keep your eyes peeled for the things begging to be known.