Sunday, October 18, 2009

Balancing this act of life.

What is life? It is the flash of a firefly in the night. It is the breath of a buffalo in the wintertime. It is the little shadow which runs across the grass and loses itself in the sunset. - Crowfoot, last words.

Today, when I told my husband Greg that I had added a house organized category to my list of daily goals, he reminded me that most businesses learn early on to focus on a few things and do them well rather than being too scattered.

And the guy has a point. And a good track record of advice. He was the one who suggested this blog, which I long refused to consider telling him if I did that, I would run out of things to say pretty quickly and then not have any material for a book. Who knew just how chatty I could be.... He was also the one who suggested that I should try to think beyond the night light because it can be hard to build a business with just one product. And in time, with my 30 ideas a day of brainstorming, I've now expanded that idea considerably.

But I'm not so sure on the desirability of being too focused. Naturally you can think of the person who spends so much time building a business, that he neglects his health and dies a very rich man at age 40. Or the person who is a health fanatic that ends up living to 120, but never took care of his finances and is the oldest person in the homeless shelter. Or the woman who took great care of her health and finances, but didn't nurture relationships with friends or family and now has only her cat to talk to. You get the idea.

I think it is possible to focus on each of the various aspects of life in a way that is very effective. If I only spend 20 minutes a day as I do now developing my business idea or 15 minutes in the garden, but during that time am truly in the moment, focused on just exactly what I want to accomplish in that quarter or third of an hour, I find I can get a lot done. If I spend twice or three times that amount but am scattered, not sure what my priorities are or if being in the garden is even the best use of my time, then I find I'm much less productive.

I also have discovered that days in which I made some progress in all the main areas of my life, even if some areas got five minutes or less, I feel more centered. It's like building a block tower with the kids. My younger son still hasn't figured out that if he uses the biggest blocks on the bottom, to build a strong and wide base, he can go a lot higher. That pithy little metaphor just came to me as I was eating my reheated pizza and sipping a Diet Coke on ice and it occurs to me belatedly that this isn't the most "balanced" of meals....but I digress;-).

So for now, I will continue focusing on my marriage, my kids, my book, my business, my garden, my goal of financial independence, my spiritual health, my personal health/beauty, my growing business vocabulary and now my uncluttered, to be beautiful home. And on days where I may only be able to spend five minute on each for a total of 50 minutes a day, I'll still be seeing those tiny steps toward the ideal in each area. And hopefully, growing more balanced by the day.

P.S. The second picture from earlier this summer when the kids were at the grandparents and Greg and I were out looking at the stars....Greg content to do so for all of about 90 seconds. I insisted we try to be in the moment for ten full minutes. As his lawyer's mind must bill in six minute increments, this was not easy for him, but he succeeded;-). Kudos Greg!

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