Day 6 – Go Slow

Posted on October 14, 2009

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Sleep faster, we need the pillows

–Old Polish saying

So, here I am at Day 6 and already I’ve reached a crossroad of sorts.  I glanced at our money market account for last month and noticed that dear husband had moved a chunk of money from the MMA into our checking account to pay some bills.  Back in the old days (when I was making money), the money only moved IN to the account, and seeing the transfer OUT reminded me that, while I am navelgazing, money is steadily flowing out the door.  This was a reality check for this would-be dreamer.  I have to keep my feet firmly planted in financial reality (hate that reality thing).  Note to self:reinvigorate job search (well, money making) efforts.  But the navelgazing is important to me, and abandoning it in order to job search feels like leaving an important project unfinished. Yet I feel great internal pressure to GET ON with the whole figuring out my life thing so I can GET ON with searching for a job that fits the perfect parameters I’ve defined as my objective of figuring out my life, so I can START MAKING MONEY at this Perfect Vocation and paying the bills and putting money back IN to the money market account.

Whoa.  Time to breathe.

My first instinct – to hurry, hurry, hurry, get this done – is so tempting.  It’s so natural and easy – and thought-free – to just get this Task done, check it off the list, and call it a day.  But I suspect this process of seeking, defining, coloring, detailing – even falling in love with – a calling requires time.  Time to think out of the box – or throw away the box and order a new, bigger and different box, time to meditate, time to digest, time to mature.  The pressure to get things done quickly in life means we often choose the easiest solution, and this is often the right solution for the activity at hand (can you say takeout after a long day at work?).  But do I want to define my calling using the quickest, easiest thing that comes to mind?  I don’t think so.  I want to take the time to do this right, to meditate on the possibilities, to develop the potential, to savor the hard work.  So, I will take it slow, keep my commitment to the full 40 days, and see what happens.

The other thing to keep in mind is that, once this 40 days is over, I can continue to refine, color, improve the end product.  I don’t have to have the Best, Most Perfect Calling of All Time at the end of this.  Don’t let the Perfect get in the way of excellence.  Just create the foundation and keep building from there.  Maybe my calling isn’t even something that’s a Job, but is something that I will just DO, in addition to my job (but I really hope it’s something that will help pay the bills 😉 )

I will also intensify the job search efforts a bit.

By the way, the prompts for today were about what you love and your vision of heaven. Quick, list all the people, things, events, activities, etc. that you love.  Include the biggies (spouse, kids, God) and the smallies (the smell of lavender, green M&Ms, fountain pens).  Give yourself 10 minutes and write madly.  Look at your list.  Can you make some of the items on your list part of your life every single day?  Because maybe that’s what it takes.

As to heaven, I’m a bit stymied on that one.  I definitely do NOT believe in the Hallmarkian cherubs with wings and harps flying all over while good people get to lie in bed and eat bonbons kind of heaven (while, outside, the bad people get rotisseried in Hell).  Perhaps I was overly influenced by reading Sartre in high school French class (Les Jeux Sont Fait – about a man and a woman who die but get a second chance at life because they were supposed to have met in life and fallen in love – has an existentialist ending as you Sartre fans might guess – sticks in my memory for some reason).  So now, I think that heaven is a mystery that us earthbound types just cant possibly understand, so doing good deeds just to get into heaven is folly.  But I do believe that God made us stewards of our lives and our talents.  This means we we have a Divine Homework Assignment: to make the most of our talents and to pursue our calling with passion and energy.  It helps, in completing the Divine Homework, to actually know what one should be pursuing.  So, on we go.

Lessons:

  1. Go slow.  Have the courage to slow down for what’s important (but it’s ok to speed through everything else :))
  2. Even if it’s important, it doesn’t have to be perfect, but it does have to be done mindfully and well.
  3. Do one thing on your List of things you love every single day.
  4. Steward your talents.  Do your Divine Homework Assignment!
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