Monday, December 05, 2011

Countdown To Ironman, Week 29: I Have Only One Task To Perform

Trying to squeeze my workouts in this weekend was excruciating. Asa was dancing in the Nutcracker, we had hair to curl and makeup to do, costumes to keep track of. Also houseguests to keep track of and all of the usual chaos in a house with 2 adults, 2 kids, and 17 animals. Spare time was at a premium, and I had to wedge my workouts into some stolen moments her and there. 

As a busy parent, spare time is a rarity, but if I have 15 spare minutes in my day, what should I do? Laundry? Clean the refrigerator? Edit my writing? Read a book? Watch the Daily Show? Help my kids with their projects? Run? Walk the dogs? Play the piano? Meditate? Stretch? Tweeze my eyebrows? Listen to my Italian language learning CD?

The possibilities are endless, and sometimes paralyzing. I've heard people say that they're bored, but this is a phrase that I don't understand. The world is too full of amazing possibilities, not to mention tasks that have to get done to ever ever have a spare minute to spend on boredom. Sometimes it's easy to get overwhelmed with the sheer number of choices available to us. I picture my great-grandmother, who was born in a sod house on the Dakota prairies. What did she have to choose from? Churning the butter, sweeping the floor, or reading the bible most likely. Her life was far simpler than mine, and in many ways probably more fulfilling. We live in a world of endless possibilities (awesome), which breeds endless choices (overwhelming). Sometimes just coping with that feels intimidating.

Mary IronMatron over at Tri-ing To Do It All writes about something we all experience - the feeling that time is slipping away and there's not enough time to do everything we want or need to do in her post Time...Is Not On My Side... Thinking of what she wrote reminded me of this wonderful poem that has the answer.

This short poem is printed on the back of my favorite triathlon shirt ever, from the Sri Chinmoy Triathlon in Victoria BC, 1989, a beautiful race filled with wonderful people. I thought it was worth sharing with you all in answer to that question about how to get everything done in the time we have allotted to us.

So this week, I've brought the shirt out of my Triathlon Shirt Archives to wear, and to remind myself of what is truly important. I have only one task to perform: Smile.


Marv said...

I would so agree at the variety of choices we have today. Sort of creates a stress by itself. So many choices can lead to wondering if the right choice was made on how to spend our life force. There are so many good things to do out there and like the quote says, "the enemy of the best is the good."

Mary IronMatron said...

Thanks for sharing the poem. As I read the first part of your post, I thought
And then you mentioned me, and I was like Oh! YES! The poem! of course!
When I get a free moment I feel paralyzed...
If I blink the moment will be over, and I will HAVE to do something -- something will be required of me.
And so yes, I need to stop the paralysis and just think... okay. take it in. relax. smile.
It is hard.

Tina Marie Parker said...

:) Needed that shirt!