I’ve been struggling with this post for a few days now. My intent is to follow-up on my February goal to minimize tasks that do not bring me joy, so as to be able to thoroughly enjoy every moment. But, when I set out to make a list of the things I do not enjoy, I felt like a whiny complainer, which is not really my personality.
So then, I started making a list of all of the bullet points that I do not enjoy, and jotting down next to them ways that I can find joy in … cleaning the cat box, for example. Which, as you also know, is a stretch of the truth on my quest to find joy in all things. And my intrinsic need to be a problem solver rather than just a problem finder really gets me nowhere with this particular exercise.
This led me to a list of all of the things that I do enjoy, but that list could go on forever … ranging from chocolate to asymmetrical shapes, and watching my kids chase butterflies. I mean, literally … forever.
So, then I circled back to the book that sparked this idea, and I realized that the author framed her list as a boundary-setting exercise to help her find a more centered existence. She made a list of “absolute noes” … or lines she would not cross. Hers are specific to her work-life balance, and include things like not answering the phone during meals, and setting her email to only check when she clicks “receive” rather than being pinged with demanding requests all day. All good tactics.
But, the one item that jumped out at me and keeps running through my mind is this–refusing to argue with people who view debate as a sport. Brilliant, I think. How much time and energy do we waste in our lives just trying to be heard by people who are so busy trying to prove us wrong that we never get a chance to get our points across? From colleagues to family, to community members. What if everyone took more time to listen and spent less energy talking over the voices of reason?
Think about the impact this would have on politics. In places of business. At school board meetings. In weekly staff meetings. With our children. With our families.
Listening. I think it is in keeping with my quest for silence, and renewing my energy stores to tackle the next big thing. Which I will thoroughly enjoy.