Not Just to Get to the Next Thing

I’ve noticed myself slowing down and enjoying tasks as the joyful things they are (and not the necessary thing I’m doing to get to the next thing). For example, I often rush through chores because they stand in the way of the next thing I’m doing.

But what if the chores are the thing I’m doing? What if this thing is the thing? I refreshen the linens on my daughter’s bed. I think that tomorrow, I’ll do another bed, then my bed the next day. Why rush? I scent the sheets with lavender and fluff all the pillows. I open wide the windows to air out the room.

I’m here right now with the unseasonably warm air and the lavender. I’m here with the peach sheets and the white pillows and the green comforter.

Is this what wise people have said all along? About being in the moment? About relishing life instead of only bouncing to the next thing? Now I’m holding this cat, stroking his patterned fur, marveling at him. There’s no next thing. 

I noticed this shift in doing things when I went to the grocery store with my daughters who love to saunter. They love to sample artisan cheeses. They love to look at endless hair products. They love to take their time. In years past, I would have urged them on to keep to some imaginary schedule of productivity. But instead, I sat with them and gazed upon all the shampoo bottles.

It was a slow, fun meandering. It was the thing I was doing. And I was with them, my girls, and finally, I wasn’t pushing everyone to get to the next thing.

That was the thing.

And now this is the thing. I write these words joyfully and slowly. And I remember that efficiency never brought me joy. It never helped me relate better to myself and others. It robbed me of the thing I was doing.

So I’m living differently and better.

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