Saturday, July 9, 2011

I want to be Deliberate

Who is with me?!!!

Exhausting to do so many things in life, but only do them half way.  To be so busy that you don't have time to make that homemade gift you wanted to or the phone call to a far away friend or create the meal you wanted with good for you food or to be constantly missing something better happening else where because you are sooo bogged down with your day to day home routine.  I just read a blog post about living life on purpose.  It reminded me that I started this post four months ago and didn't finish it.

I have mentioned before how important I feel it is to honor your own values through your actions and lifestyle.  This does not have to be dramatic by any means.  Little things, right?... like you may go a little bit out of your way to talk to your neighbors, because building community around you is a big deal.  Or maybe you spend a bit more at a local grocery store because you know they support more local farms.  The little things add up quickly and before you know it your life kinda shapes into a positive reflection of your choices.  Trust the process, right?

Now, I am a grass-is-always-greener-on-the-other-side gal, for sure.  But lately (maybe it is the mom thing), I feel like my grass is the greenest (no pot references, just regular lawn grass people)!  I used to get jealous of independent business owners.  I used to get jealous of illustrators.  I used to get jealous of phD scientists who got to travel the world to learn (while getting paid).  I used to get jealous of other moms.  I used to get jealous of professional dancers.  I used to get jealous of people that made their own clothes.  I used to get jealous of farmers.  And there were even more things then that, but I think you get the point.  I was jealous of everything.  That is no good...

So here are my thoughts today about the good life:
- I am not a dancer anymore and I may have missed my window of opportunity on that one.  I can still shuffle whenever I want to (and so can you)!
- I do not own my own creative-based company.  I can and may someday still.  I love design and textiles and DIY.  In the mean time I will purposefully and deliberately celebrate those that do.  Check out these gorgeous lace earrings (how-to) and wonderful knit patterns (while we are talking about jealousy, is that not one of the most gorgeous models you have ever seen?)
- I am not a world traveler, but if I buckle down I can afford to go a couple of places in the next few years.  I am not broke like a joke, just conservative with my money (you gotta be, right michiganders?)
- I don't have a phD.  Yet... I still get paid to do science of all sorts.  And on a part-time basis never-the-less with a group of very intelligent, hard working people (who lives like this?)  Plus - I can still get a phD.  I am young for gosh sakes!
- Not an illustrator, but I make some damn nice maps if you ask me because I think I have the touch.
- I don't make all my own clothes, but I have made some for the little one and a few things for me.  I think I am on my way to something here.

Life is definitely feeling like it is a result of the choices I have made.  It isn't perfect by any means, but I hold the power to making it better when I need to.  And like so many others, we are just trying our best.

At a local environmental conference a couple years back, the past Sustainability Director of MSU, Terry Link, gave a talk about aligning your lifestyle with your values.  I raised my hand, "How do you live sustainably without it totally overwhelming you?  One can't possibly do everything right all the time."

Dr. Link said he gets that question all the time, "I always suggest giving yourself time.  When you are not rushed, it is easier to make good choices"

What great advise!  If you want to live deliberately, purposefully, whatever, then you have to make time to plan, time to think about what you are doing, time to understand some of the impacts it may have, etc. 

And when we are all purposeful and deliberate (not just breezing through life) we are our best, most unique selves.  That is my pep talk for tonight, mostly for myself as I think of all the stuff still left on the to-do list.  Purposefully move forward and do not just freak out.  Slow it down and do your best... unless you are shuffling, in which case you should speed it up.


Brenna said...

A great reminder, G. Thanks. It's so hard to even slow down and be deliberate, especially when life feels it's coming at you a million miles an hour. Then add other people, with needs and stuff in to the mix. Geez. Being organized is the key, I think, to living at a slower pace and being more deliberate.

Gloria said...

I would agree. Being organized allows you to also see that it is too much. Sometimes when I feel super overwhelmed, I write a list to organize my thoughts and realize it is literally impossible to complete those tasks in that week. And for some reason, that makes it easier to drop a few of those tasks from my list.

Anonymous said...

The old people in your life might find themselves saying that one should live a life that allows you to take the time to smell the roses. Our societal expectations are such that any moment not spent consuming is an ill-spent moment. That is crap. I respect your recognition that there is joy in being faithful to your beliefs and have always enjoyed how you "walk the talk". It is quintessential Gloria and it is well done and it won't be lost on your children. You are starting something.


Gloria said...

Thanks for the comment Dad.