Today I have been thinking about what makes a good day. It’s not just free time, a vacation day, or a lack of schedule, because there are times when even those days are not satisfying. And what about the busy days that feel invigorating and satisfying? So, what makes the difference between a “crazy, busy” and “just right” day?
For me, the think it is the time in between. To rush from one activity to another, to feel like I am never able to completely finish one thing before I am already thinking, or even doing, the next, is what leads to the “crazy, busy” feeling.
For us, it is the beginning of the school year with two teenage daughters in the house. There certainly is a lot on the calendar. The routines are new and no one is loving this transition time. With that in mind, I have spent the past few weeks trying to avoid judging myself but standing back and “watching” my behavior. When do I feel like things are going well? When do they feel out of control? What is my role in the “crazy, busy” feeling? Is it the actual over scheduling of events that sends me over the edge or is it partly me?
Earlier today, I was in the car and happened to turn on NPR right as an interview with Lodro Rinzler came on. He is a teacher in the Shambhala Buddhist lineage and founder of the Institute for Compassionate Leadership. Ok, I thought. Let’s see what he has to say. He has recently written a book called “The Buddha Walks into the Office: A Guide to Livelihood for a New Generation.” The interview was thought-provoking. The idea that resonated most with me was about being the “mindful” or “calm” person in an office. He was describing ways in which that single individual can change the entire culture of the place. Interesting. Can I be that person for our family even with all the daily challenges we face?
How much of my “crazy, busy” feeling is because I am not able to remain in a calmer or more mindful place. Obviously, it is something I crave in my life. Having identified as the Type A, energetic leader kind of personally for my entire adult life, it is hard to take a step back and breathe. Does it mean I will be less productive, less engaged, less inspired, less…
This whole line of thought brings me back to creating more space and time in between completing the to do list, helping the girls, or working on a web project. That is what went well today. Time in between. I had an agenda. I achieved most of what I set out to do today. And, best of all, I was able to stay mindful and calm in the moment.
How about you? Is there someone in your family that brings calm and peace to your home?