In more than half a century on Earth, I have finally learned to keep my priorities straight. Sometimes. I don't want to break my arm patting myself on the back here. But I do recognize when I need to put family and home ahead of other things.
This weekend, I had a number of things to do that had nothing to do with writing or working. If you have ever worked from home, you know how hard it is to separate the two. Even when you are not working, you are working. The piles of sticky notes with reminders are calling to me as I settle down in front of the TV to watch "Bar Rescue" with my hubby. Even as the dogs are nudging my hands, begging to be loved, my mind is telekinetically moving those sticky notes into a never-ending order of priority.
Sometimes, it just has to stop. And this weekend was that time.
A dinner party for a beloved friend's birthday. Sunday brunch with my daughter and her husband, celebrating my husband's recent birthday. It was too hot to work in the garden, so I finally took a few items off the "Honey Do" list inside. I didn't make much of a dent in the pile, but my time was spent just as productively as it would have been working. Perhaps more productively. Because it made me notice the potatoes.
We are growing potatoes this year. They are pretty amazing veggies. Almost hassle-free. Of course, that is after we built what (we hope) is a critter-proof enclosure for them. Barring secret tunnels and an army of moles, voles and chipmunks, we have a good chance of getting a healthy crop.
The thing about potatoes is: all you do is put more straw and compost and dirt on top of what's there. When the stems and leaves start to grow out of the pile, you pile more stuff on. It looks like the more stuff that gets piled on, the bigger the plant grows. The more room it has to expand, the greater the harvest.
As I walked the dogs out back this morning, I was feeling refreshed and excited about the week ahead. The rains over the past few days had perked up the garden, and all the growing things looked happy and strong. As I passed the potato cage, I checked to see how they were growing. And then it hit me: Looking at the potatoes, I realized that I am a potato plant. Without my noticing, I have been thriving even as more stuff, more input, more connections, more living and learning has been heaped on my little cage. I have been growing at a rate I would not have believed; continually pushing my head up out of the clutter, and expanding under the surface, in multiple directions, nurturing so many fruits of my days in the sun.
Exit Question: Do you find yourself more inspired, more energized, by taking time off from your work? Or do you feel anxious and stressed about what hasn't been done?
This article was written by Sandi Tuttle. To get more great advice from Womens Toolbox Media Diva Sandi Tuttle, visit her website at: www.averagewomansj.com