Friday, February 26, 2016

I Love Mornings, and You Can Too!

It’s 4:53 am and I’ve already been up for well over an hour.  Crazy, I know.  I’ve tidied up the kitchen, made coffee, transferred laundry from the washer to the dryer, straightened up school papers, put a few socks into the laundry hamper, and surfed the web.  

And do you know what?  I’m not even tired.  It is so energizing to have this blissful, quiet time to myself, to spend on myself.  Those who are not morning people may not ever understand the sheer joy there is in waking up while it is dark, getting an early start on my day, sitting, sipping my favorite coffee, reading, writing, or just web surfing.   It’s so PEACEFUL.  No one is up to pull on me, to ask for help with ANYTHING.  No homework to find, no hair to braid, no meals to prepare, nothing to search for.  That will all start in another hour.  
Some people call it insomnia. I know hormones play a part in the fact that I rarely sleep in past 4:30 am, no matter what time I go to bed.  When you wake up refreshed and get a jump on the day before anyone else, when you get to experience the gift of a sunrise through your window every morning, there are no words.

Early morning, while those I love most are still snug in their beds, I welcome the new day with you, my Savior, and a mug of hot coffee.  

And although I may never make the top ten or twenty on the FMF posts, (usually too tired to even check for the prompt Thursday night) Friday is here.  And I’m up, enjoying the still, quiet dark of a new day dawning.  


Thursday, February 25, 2016

Staying on the Grid

When I was a child, there were times I would start a sentence and then forget what I was about to say.  And although it only happened occasionally, my mom’s response was always, “well, it must not have been that important anyway.”  That must have been a saying she heard growing up, and, from the surface, seemed correct enough to pass along.  

Now, well, forgetting my thoughts mid-sentence occurs much more than I would care to admit.  Very important things can slip my mind.  More often than not, when I think, “surely I will remember this,” I find later that once again, it completely slips off the grid.  It’s not that we remember the important things and forget the inconsequential.  It is that we are so bombarded by the urgent, that less urgent, important items get pushed back and forgotten.

What is important I need to write down, or at least put into my notes app, so that I don’t forget.

I remember the time when my daughter was three, I picked her up from Sunday School and she was despondent.  “What’s wrong?” I asked.  “Nobody teached us again today.”  I thought, “what person would just neglect a classroom of three year olds?  Don’t they care enough to even call in if they can’t make it?”  Then a pit formed in my stomach.  I was the one assigned that class that day.  I was the thoughtless adult who didn’t have the decency to call in.  I had just plum forgotten.  You could have wiped me off of the floor at that moment.  How do I explain to an adorable, sad three year old that she was important, that her class was important?  To her, she was just forgotten.  Or how about the time my son had to walk miles to the nearest telephone because I had forgotten to pick him up after practice?  Or my daughter, standing in the dark after soccer practice, because her mother didn’t set an alarm and was late?

Whether we like it or not, our actions, or in this case, inactions affect others.  That is why it is so important to take necessary measures to remember the important things.  God the Father had his children set up memorials in places with large stones so that they had a tangible reminder of what He had done for them.  

So, for me, excuses don’t cut it.  If something is important enough to think, “I need to remember this,” then it is important enough to write it down, set an alarm, put it in my calendar.  The methods may change, but the message is the same:  “Remember.”


Friday, February 5, 2016

A Focused Five Minutes

Years ago I took a personality test which seemed to answer many questions.  Out of the hundred or so in the room, I was one of three whose test results landed them in the “task-unstructured” category.  Ah, yes, that answered a lot.

I love accomplishing tasks, but please, don’t ever make me sit in a room and stuff 10,000 envelopes again like that time,  fresh out of college with my business degree in check and very little confidence to make my mark on the world, I worked as a unit secretary.  We were the team assigned the task of sending out a huge department mailing, long before that kind of thing could be hired out and automated.  We were the automation.  

Being made to punch a clock and repeat a mundane task for hours might be the most effective torture for me.  Because for me, repetition equals torture.

Worship songs that repeat notes and words the whole time are akin to nonsense for me. Why do we need to sing the same thing over and over again?  Isn’t that the “meaningless repetition” we were warned against? (Just kidding, kind of.)

I was made for variety. Love multi-tasking.  It keeps my brain sharp.
As a mother of six kids home at once, it was a necessary skill, this multi-tasking thing.  

My husband, on the other hand is as focused as a person can be.  Whatever he is working on at any moment has his undivided attention.  He loves routine.  Loves the predictable.  Whatever might interrupt that task becomes a hindrance to his focus. 

You can imagine the conversations that entail from two people on opposite sides of the focus spectrum.  

“Honey, you need to focus. “  (On which item?)
“What are your plans for today?” (How much time do you have?)
“Did you get XYZ done?”  (Well, haven’t quite gotten there yet.)

Do you see the struggle?  It’s real, folks.

Focus is important.  People who’ve accomplished the most in their short lives here on earth possess it.  The visionaries, the CEO’s score high in the focus column.  But let’s not forget, for every CEO, every visionary, there are many personal assistants who are assigned multi-tasking details to make the projects work.

Are you a focused, driven personality? Or are you the variety-driven, multi-tasker? Both are necessary. We need each other.