I am a to-do list girl. I LOVE to make lists and accomplish them. The more things I can cross off in a day, the more accomplished I feel. And unfortunately, often I see my success defined by how much I can accomplish.
In other words, I end up trying to do a LOT. The more I can do, the better. And the QUICKER I can do it, well, all the better, right? The more efficient I can be at accomplishing what I want to accomplish, well, THAT’S success, right?
I’ve got it all wrong, yet this is how I live my life. Let me put this in perspective. Everything I do, I always think okay, how can I do this quicker and more efficient? Like EVERYTHING. When I unload the dishes – I try to grab all of one item, juggling it in my arms, just so that I don’t have to make two trips to the drawer or shelf. When I’m brushing my teeth, I pick up everything I can in sight, so that I don’t have to do it later. When I’m cooking dinner, if something is in the microwave, I don’t stand still for 15 seconds, but quickly try to get something else done. It’s honestly rather ridiculous.
I’d like to claim my love for efficiency as a reason to save time so I can do what I’d rather be doing. But then when I get a chance to do what I want to “really” be doing, well, I try to find the most efficient way in that too, instead of sitting back and enjoying the moment. I can STINK at that. Why? Because I can’t just stop and smell the roses.
I have to say I’ve gotten a little bit better, but when it comes to a handful of things, I still try to be as quick and efficient as I can, not taking a break to just enjoy what I am doing. Okay, unloading the dishwasher isn’t my favorite thing in the world, so I try to just git ‘er done. But what if I took even more time to show Mazy where something goes? Even if she can’t reach it, what if I allowed her to just hand me things? How easy I can miss the opportunity to teach my child something, all in the name of being efficient. What if when I’m brushing my teeth, I just took that time for me? Like the 1-2 minutes each morning and evening? Seriously, Kristin.
I think God wants us to make good use of our time and to not waste our life away, but at the same time, I think there comes a point where I’m trying to be “too” efficient. God isn’t going to ask what I did in a day necessarily, but what I did for him and his glory. If I constantly rush around, trying to get as much done as I can, I miss the ways that God might be whispering to me. All because I’m rushing around, listening to the noise of the world and the pressure to do as much as I can, instead of listening to the voice of God.
When I’m rushing around, trying to be efficient, I miss the opportunity to be thankful for the moment. For the mundane. And for the simple things in life. Like brushing my teeth – a first world gift. Am I thankful?
Mazy sure teaches me a lot in life and reminds me of all of my downfalls. When I was folding laundry a couple weeks ago, I asked if she wanted to help. She grabbed a towel and I was going to show her how to fold it. She told me, “No Mommy, I know how.” I said in my head fine…I’ll deal with it later. Welp. Lo and behold, she folded it EXACTLY how I would. It almost made me sick for 2 reasons. First, that I almost told her how to do it, instead of letting her show me. Second, she knows how weird I am about having my towels folded just right, and wants them to look the same way. I mean I guess that’s a good thing, but that moment taught me that Kristin, just take the time to teach her.
One thing I often allow Mazy to do, is help me in the kitchen. It’s kind of our thing. And the older Mazy gets the more I try to involve her in as much as I can because my goal as a parent is to help her be an independent adult someday. It truly is such a joy to do things together like put the dishes away, fold laundry, pick up the yard, clean, etc. But I need to make sure that my desire to do things efficiently, doesn’t interfere with the teaching moments in life. Taking the time to just step back and SLOW DOWN, is one of the best parenting choices I could make in a day. In this fast paced world, I need to take a chill pill, SLOW DOWN, and stop trying to be so efficient.
Do you ever struggle with this?