Sunday, October 15, 2006

"You'd lose your head if it weren't attached"

I am constantly being told that. I am also constantly losing things. Now, I think that part of it is due simply to the amount of clutter in our apartment. 5 people in a little 2 bedroom apartment, along with a clutter problem, is a recipe for losing things.

But I think my problem is much more than that. Because I also lose things at work and other areas. My problem has more to do with the fact that, for years, I've gone through life on auto-pilot. Days and weeks pass by and seem to be a blur. I get up, do morning stuff, drive the kids to their schools, go to work, do errands, etc. But I don't really do any of it in a mindful, deliberate way. When I cook, I am also thinking about what I need to do the next day or trying to fix or clean something at the same time. When I am carrying something, I get distracted by something else, then set down the item and forget all about it (until I need it and have no idea where I left it). My mind is never on what I'm doing at the moment. I realized this morning that, if this continues, I may one day be an old woman and have absolutely no idea how I spent my life. Sad, huh? So, one of my goals is to live deliberately, to concentrate on what I'm doing, no matter how mundane the task or action. I want to evaluate what I decide to do with my time and then pay attention to how I'm spending that time. I don't want to be on auto-pilot anymore.

“I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I have not lived.” - Henry David Thoroeau in Walden
Well, I may not be able to move to the woods (as much as I'd love to), but I also don't think that is necessary. If we simplify our life, get rid of extraneous junk, and concentrate and that which is truly important and that which brings us joy, and learn to live in the moment, we will be living deliberately. We will be aware of ourselves and our surroundings, we will take note of the texture of the things we touch, the smell of the odors around, the colors of the flowers and creatures we encounter. Then we won't look back and wonder where our life has gone.
“You must live in the present, launch yourself on every wave, find your eternity in each moment.” - Thoroeau

10 comments:

Sara said...

Don't be too hard on yourself. I think what you're describing is probably happening to most working women with kids. As you begin the process of simplifying to create the outer life you desire (less cluttered and hectic)your inner life will also become calmer and more intentional. I think this is the natural progression of our development as adults, but unless we get the wake-up call to slow things down and take control, we run the risk of never noticing that there's a problem. I think you're on to something important here.

Gavrielah said...

Thank you very much for the encouragement, Sara. I think you're right about it happening so much to working women with families. I think that while of course we have many responsibilities, we dupe ourselves into a cycle of "There's so much to do, so much to attain, etc". That is the cycle I'm hoping to break right now.

the green mama said...

I liked this post alot. I think that is very much what I am missing in my own life. Thats definitely a thought I need to ponder further: learning to live intentionally.

P.S. Love the quotes today! I am huge Thoreau fan :-)

Gavrielah said...

I remember being in 11th grade, picking up a copy of Walden at the used book store and going to our central park and just sitting and reading and getting lost in it. I would definitely say that was the seed of my yearning for a more intentional life. Unfortunately, I didn't do anything to sustain that and fell into the cycle I mentioned to Sara. I got it off of my daughter's bookshelf the other day and feel as if I've actually rediscovered myself.

Hopefully we can all remind each other of living intentionally often until it totally becomes our way of life.

Jenny said...

Your post really hit home for me. Too often, I lose myself. I guess that's in part why I've begun this journey--so that I can stop living on auto-pilot and start finding joy in each task no matter how small.

Gavrielah said...

Exactly Jenny. While I just realized it concretely yesterday, I think it was something that has been on my mind and is probably a huge reason why I undertook this journey as well. I'm glad I've made some new friends to travel with. :)

Shawnele said...

What a great post! I have some of the same issues. (A funny sidenote: My dad FREQUENTLY told me, when I was a teen, that I'd lose my head if it wasn't screwed on. Now that he's older I have had much opportunity to return the comment...but have fought that urge successfully to date!)

Gavrielah said...

That is exactly what I was told during high school constantly by MY dad. So far he hasn't gotten to where the tables are turned, but it won't be too long.

And I'm proud of you for resisting that urge!!!!

BurdockBoy said...

Great Post! You're on the right path by working on simplifying your life. You're absolutely correct on being more aware of oneself and surroundings by reducing "extraneous junk". It's also important to take time for yourself to try to quiet your mind through yoga, meditation, or even a nice hot bath or shower. I know that may be easier for me to say since I won't have a little one around for another couple months, but it really helps.

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