Thursday, March 29, 2012

Doing Enough

At various points in my life, way more often than I like to admit,  I think of myself as not very productive. Uh, that's so not true but I get it in my brain that I’m sitting on my arse half the time. I’m not. I do think I need to reprogram that part of my brain, though, that part that tells me I’m doing not enough.
All I need to do to remind myself that I’m doing “enough” is to look at my kids and see how cool they are - and remember that though luck has an awful lot to do with how people turn out I have also worked hard to be there for my kids and to be as good of a mom as I can be for them. I believe this does make a difference.
But sometimes, even with the cool kids as a reminders, it’s difficult to believe that I am doing enough, especially when it comes to my writing work - probably because my writing work doesn’t bring in a ton of money and this darn world we live in puts so much value on the almighty dollar. And sometimes I get caught up in that line of thinking - that a person's worth is equal to the amount of money they make. Frankly, I’m pretty hard on myself when it comes to this. Dang it! It’s time to be nicer to myself. Time to be as kind to myself as my dearest friends and family members are nice and kind to me. 
I just finished my billing for my 2011 writing work. And, in an effort to be nice to myself, to give myself something tangible to look at to remind myself that I DO in fact work hard and do a lot in the course of a year, I took a picture of my stack of stories written and published in 2011. Seventeen stories.
I’m not going to say, like I so very often do, “But some people write more” or “But I didn’t get paid much for these stories.” No buts. No comparisons to other writers, to other people. Because life isn’t just those seventeen stories that I got paid for - it was a lot of other writing and a whole lot of living that can't be measured or invoiced. It was the hours of talking to people so I could write those stories. The hours of being a mother, a wife, a daughter, a sister, a friend during happy times and tears. Of reading with kids at school. Of long bike rides and walks. Of tiny moments that made me smile.
Maybe we should all consider stepping away from the world of “doing enough” and consider the possibility that “doing enough” may actually be too much. Maybe we should actually DO less and BE more. 

More present. More engaged with our friends and families. More willing to have coffee with a friend. To play with the kids. To sit still and enjoy moments and make memories.

It’s something to think about.


2 comments:

Nina Patten said...

So true. Perfectly written. Loved this and your birthday post.
I'm a big fan!

shebicycles said...

Applause. Yes, perfectly written, insightful, and oh how you have your priorities in clear order! There is nothing - *nothing* - more valuable than time spent nurturing and guiding your children. It carries value beyond measure. And you are an exceptional mother.

I agree that it is very sad how much emphasis our culture places on monetary wealth. I think of some of my children's teachers who have "turned on the lightbulb", provided priceless opportunities for my boys - teachers whose annual salaries probably wouldn't equal a week's compensation of some asshat Wall Street piranha. There is no equity, and monies earned should not be a benchmark of a truly productive life.

You are an inspiring woman, a wonderful writer, and an amazing wife and mother. (Not to mention an awesome cyclist). Thanks for sharing your insights .