Live Anyway

Time in between

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?

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An introduction

Hello everyone!

Welcome to my new blog. You must be wondering why I chose the name Live Anyway. The long story is on the About Kim page. The short story  is that, although our family has faced incredible challenges, we love life deeply and choose to “live anyway”.

What does it mean to “live in the moment”? How do we put aside all the “must dos” and embrace what we believe to be the most important “dos”? How do we slow down in today’s faced paced world? And, how do we find contentment when so much of one’s self-identity today seems to be married to how busy we are?

These are the questions I have been asking myself lately. Last Spring, after 25 years as a music teacher and teacher trainer, I made the difficult decision to close my flute studio. It was not because I didn’t love teaching. It was not because I was not committed to my students. It was not from “burn out”. It was because I found myself running on fumes. My emotional reserves were empty and I couldn’t be there for my wife, for my daughters, for my students, or, most importantly, for myself. That was when I knew something had to change. So I took the first step.

Now,  3 months later, I am just beginning to live into what this next chapter will look like. I have always been able to answer the question “what do you do?” with an automatic, “I teach the flute”. Even though, in reality I could have answered any of the following.

  • I am a flute teacher.
  • I am a wife and mother.
  • I am my daughter, G’s medical advocate.
  • I am G’s nurse.
  • I am G’s teacher.
  • I am a web design student
  • I am a life long learner and lover of knowledge

And yet, we live in a world where “what do you do” has seemingly replaced “who are you”. I can no longer hang my hat on being a flute teacher and trainer and so I find myself answering the question differently almost every time I am asked. It is nerve-wracking but it feels more authentic, more real.  I am sure my confidence will grow, but I wonder, how do YOU answer the question. Is your “job” really what defines you? Or, is it possible that we all have many answers to the question?

I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments. To leave a comment just click the little pencil icon next to the post.

Thanks for joining me on the new blog. If you’d like to get an email when I post a new entry, use the subscribe form below.

 

 

 

 

 

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Welcome to Live Anyway!

My first day on the new blog. It feels good. It’s been a long time coming.

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