Friday, April 27, 2012

do nothing

Over a recent brunch of silver dollar pancakes and two eggs (scrambled), I was complaining to my dear friend Jimmy about how I feel like I'm not making progress in the things that I want in my life.  He put down his birthday french toast, smiled, and gave me some wise advice. He said:

“You need to spend more time up a tree, with your shoes off, eating jellybeans and watching the clouds go by.”

(Like this, but with jellybeans* ---->)

"You have no idea," he said (and I am here paraphrasing) "how hard you work.  You need to take more time OFF.  Don't push for an outcome, just let it come to you."

"But, but, but..." I stammered.  I'd never get ANYWHERE if I did THAT.  And there are things that I want.  I, I, I... I don't know what to DO.

"Do nothing."  he said. 

After brunch, it started to hit me.  I've gotten much more gentle with my expectations in the past five years but I still drive myself, and hard.  I rarely screw up, but when I do, the gloves come off.  I hold my tongue when others don’t do what I have asked them to do THREE TIMES, but if I spend a weekend without checking off everything on my to do list, it was a “waste” of a weekend.

This isn't working.

Especially because, upon reflection, I have evidence that my weekend wasn't a waste.  I mopped the floor, baked a cake, took my friend out for birthday brunch, downloaded Office 2010 onto my computer, and watched several hours of Planet Earth, the nutritional supplement of television.  I didn't do nothing!

What I'm getting at is that it's time for me, once again, to question what it is that drives me.  Where did I learn my standards for what is and isn't ok, and am I willing to revise them?  Are they serving me?  Or are they holding me back? 

What good is going for perfection if it only makes me feel broken along the way?

Thanks, Jimmy.  Happy birthday!

* I may have made up the part about eating jellybeans, but it really should be in there, so I’m pretending it was.

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