This Friday afternoon, I’m swaddled in the baby quilt I made for Russell, hands freezing as I type and watching the rain pour outside. But it’s all good. Over on my year-in-review post, I had mentioned that I was devising a strategy for my year and how I approach work, family, and life in general. Somewhere I had read about the idea of choosing one or three words that sum up the theme of your year and really meditating on those words and what they mean to you. It’s meant to serve as a guide for your choices and activities, and since they are based in your values, they serve you better than resolutions like “lose 10 pounds before summer” or “read a book a week”. Of course, I couldn’t choose just one word, so I settled on three for 2015: flow, focus, and presence.
Flow — in my experience, having a baby means that your time and attention are all chopped up and disconnected. Your brain ceases to function and process complete thoughts. You multitask things like breastfeeding while cooking, wearing the baby while cleaning the house, and pumping breast milk while checking email. In my case, I feel like I’ve set myself unreasonable expectations of getting real, substantial things done. One thing I truly wish for in 2015 is the return to “creative flow”. While I know I won’t often get those beautiful, perfect, uninterrupted chunks of time wherein I can produce my best creative work, I’m hoping to be able to get into flow more quickly and for shorter periods of time so that I can actually accomplish more. Being “in flow” should help me get more done in less time. And one thing that should help with that is…
Focus — Focus is about doing one thing at a time rather than being all over the place. I have something like 70 different projects and plans going on at one time but it’s not sane or efficient to try to do all things (or be all things to all people). So I’m counting on the fact that it will be more productive for me to go full out on one project at a time, chipping away at everything until things get done. So I’ve set myself a focus for each quarter of the year where I can truly concentrate on one area of my work and life.
Presence — I think of focus as being task-related. Presence, on the other hand, I think of as people-related. I really want to be the kind of person who is able to give people my complete and full attention. I want to be fully engaged and present. Not thinking about work when I’m spending time with my baby and husband. Not worrying about the baby when I should be at work. It’s been a challenge up until now — going to social events and not being able to really get into conversations because I am half watching the baby and half trying to talk to someone. It’s really all about trusting that there is a time and place for everything and doing what is needed when it is needed.
So this week, my Friday Five all seem to center around being present with the people in my life.
- Family birthdays this weekend mean a lot of family time too. I’m looking forward to dim sum on both Saturday and Sunday, seeing my baby brother’s new house for the first time, and catching up with a good friend on Sunday night. It’s going to be a full but fabulous weekend.
- Perhaps Russell’s crankiness and early morning wakings can be attributed to the fact that he’s cutting two new teeth (molars, I think!). Thankfully he slept until 5:50 am this morning. Yesterday, we had a wonderful morning at the open gym together. It’s absolutely amazing to watch him learn from the older kids around him. Everything they do seems mesmerizing to him and I’m so glad Russell isn’t shy or scared of other kids. He’s right in there, trying to emulate them. At 14.5 months, he’s 23 lbs as of today and walking up and down the stairs (with a little hand-holding) like a true toddler.
- Thankful for other moms to lean on and share this amazing journey. The moms from my prenatal class/mommy wolfpack went to dinner at Tapenade this week and shared a lot of wine and a lot more laughter. Feeling incredibly blessed to have their friendship.
- So grateful for a wonderful husband who is very patient and thoughtful. When I’m stressed and freaking out (generally, that’s very often), he is able to quickly get me to see things with more perspective. It’s almost always the exact right kick in the butt that I need to get myself out of my spirals of craziness. And so happy that we got to spend some time together this week watching one of the Oscar hopefuls, The Imitation Game.
- I do believe we have such an awesome group of people at SGY. It’s been a positive work week and I’m feeling like things are slowly cranking forward. On Wednesday, I spent 5 1/2 hours in (what felt like) very productive conversations with our team, grateful that they entertain my madness. There’s always so much to be done, but these guys help me actually make things happen.
And this morning, Russell experimented with wearing his bowl of scrambled eggs rather than eating out of it. How could it not be a good day?