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Reality Check

"i love you much (most beautiful darling) more than anyone on the earth and i like you better than everything in the sky." - e.e. cummings It was a typical Tuesday evening.  We ate a late supper, worked for a little while, exercised, and watched a TV episode to unwind.  At this point, 11:00 p.m., SD got up to get ready for bed.  I opened up WordPress to finish a post I had in progress.

“Time for bed,” he said rather sternly.  “Why are you acting like a Nazi?” I responded, defensively.  “I’m just trying to keep you from working 24/7,” he said.  The words stung a little and stopped me dead in my tracks.

I work hard.  We both do.  But there’s a difference between living to work and working to live.  I love what I do but that doesn’t mean it’s my top priority 100% of the time.  Life is made up of priorities that we set and boundaries we establish to protect the things that are most important to us.  No else can set those boundaries for us.  Tuesday’s late-night exchange made me question what I really value and how I show that with my time and my actions.

When I bring my computer down to the kitchen to continue working on emails while SD cooks dinner, I may be keeping him company and yes, I offer to help but I’m also showing that I can’t set my work aside.  I don’t have time to just be there, fully present.  When SD drives and I take out my iPhone to skim Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, etc., I may be able to carry on a conversation with him but I’m showing that I can’t focus on just him.

And, since I’m on a roll, I have another confession to make.  Part of me feels like I thrive on multitasking.  It’s almost like I’m competing with myself: setting the bar higher and higher, challenging myself to balance more things at once and not crack under the pressure.  Is that bad?  I whole-heartedly believe in challenging oneself, setting goals, and not settling for adequate when you can do and be so much more.  However, there is a time and a place for Wonder Woman and it’s not when we’re trying to unwind at the end of the day.  You see, I have this bad habit during commercial breaks.  I open up a new browser window and work on that blog post I started earlier or I begin editing my to-do list for tomorrow.  Terrible, I know!

Here’s the lesson I need to teach myself: Learn to just be.  Sometimes, we all need time to just sit a spell and be fully present, don’t you think?

Fast forward to Wednesday night at 5:00 p.m.  I stepped away from my computer, left my phone on the coffee table upstairs, and made a vegetable lasagna (from scratch!) with SD.  It felt like such a luxury, I thought it was the weekend!  At 7:30 p.m., I sat back down to work for a few hours but I was refocused and driven and I powered right through my to-do list.  No time for distractions – just clear, focused work.  What an incredible feeling!

Here’s to reality checks, to refocusing, to being fully present, and to treating every day like the weekend.