Thursday, April 5, 2012

Single-Tasking Through Life in a Bubble

"I do one thing at a time.  I do it very well, and then I move on."
(Major Charles Emerson Winchester, III / M*A*S*H).

I could have said that quote.  In fact, I have.  On several occasions.  It's simply me.
There ya go.

As some of y'all may know, I'm a bit of a minimalist.  Not just with material possessions, neither.  I'm also a minimalist regarding  "doing".  I'm not opposed to doing things; not at all.  In fact, I encourage "doing".  But!  I do one thing at a time.  I do it very well and then I move on.

Yes, part of this lifestyle stems from my philosophy that a person really can be too busy.  When someone is too busy, they most likely are not being as productive as they could be or want to be be; they have morphed from "busy" to "busyness" - being busy for the sake of being busy.

Where's the joy in that?  What's the purpose in it?  What good can truly come of it?

Sometimes, life does, indeed, comes along and gives us an extra helping or two of things that absolutely have to be done.  And during those times, we do what we need to do; that's just the way it is.  Those moments are seasonal, though, and are not meant to become life-long habits.

Yes, I'm definitely a "do" minimalist.  I like to go dancing through the daisy fields, and I love to stop and smell the roses.  And the lilacs.  And celery.  Oh man!  I absolutely love the way celery smells.  Tex just looks and me and shakes his head whenever we're at the grocery store and I lovingly pick up a bunch of celery, gently bring it close to my face and then, with joyful anticipation that's most likely written all over my face, inhale deeply.  When my eyes gleefully roll around in my head, I'm sure he wonders just what kind of an alien he married.

But I digress.

It was much easier to be a single-tasker when I was single (no pun intended) and had only myself to look after.  A few years ago, when I was single and living in a one-room studio, life was so much simpler . . . and being a pedestrian in a pedestrian-friendly town with a free bus service helped in keeping it simple.  I'd wake up in the mornings, attend to client projects, walk around town, chat with whomever I'd run into (I wonder . . . how hard can you run into someone when you're actually walking?), do errands, go home, leave again when I wanted or needed to, meet with clients, attend my aqua classes, meet someone for bagels and/or coffee, lunch or dine with friends, maybe share a glass of wine or champagne on the deck of a restaurant while watching the sunset, go home, catch a ride to homechurch on Sundays, rinse, lather repeat.

I was also the queen of organization.  In fact, that's one of the services I provided to my clients:  I organized them, their businesses and sometimes, even their homes.  My filing system was impeccable and always up-to-date.  Truly, it was.

Catching up to current time, I now have the complete pleasure of being a wife, a mom and a grandma.    I also now live in a house and I rely on Tex to chauffeur me to at least 99% of wherever I need to go.  I do have my tri-wheeler (an adult trike), but, other than the grocery store, there's really not anywhere around where I can trike to safely or quickly (it takes one hour for me to trike, one way, to my pool; and I'm perfectly willing to expend the time and energy in triking to / from the pool . . . I just need to find a route that won't bring harm to me or my trike).  And, a filing system?  What's that?  I now have a filing plan - which might come to fruition one day.

But I digress.

Our daughters live 2 hours away from us.  I've had the extreme pleasure of visiting them several times since they sweetly welcomed me into the family.  If they need me (or even if I think they need me), Tex and I are packing up the truck so he can drive me to where they live.  I then impose myself upon them for a few days and play Grandma, Mom-Friend and even Goofy-Mother-In-Law.  It's my complete joy to do this.

Then there's friends.  Tex and I both have hearts for hospitality.  There's definitely a learning curve involved and we certainly have lots of room for improvement . . . but, truth-be-told, we're really nuts about house guests!  We absolutely LOVE to have people come stay with us; whether for dinner, for the night or even for a few days.  We've been so blessed to be able to provide clean sheets and a hot dinner to a few people who needed a place to stay for a night or two while they were in town for whatever conference or other event they were attending.  We've been delighted to also be able to do this for our daughters and their families a few times, and we have had a great deal of fun in having people over for dinner or even a party.  Tex has even surprised me on two separate occasions (so far) by bringing cherished friends in from out-of-state to stay with us for a few days.  How cool is that?! . . . On both my husby and my friends' part.  (I can't help but wonder who will be next.  heehee).

So.  What in the world does all of this have to do with single-tasking and living life in a bubble?

Excellent question; I'm so glad you asked!

Life wasn't meant to be lived within a bubble.  Bubbles burst . . . and then usually make messes that need to be cleaned up.

There's got to be some balance . . . between extreme single-tasking and extreme multi-tasking.

I'm trying to find that balance right now; specifically in regard to . . . da dum . . . learning to simultaneously take life as it comes, smell the flowers (and the celery) along the way and be productive in the process.

For instance:  I have been trying to get my website (and business) going since October.  My word; October was over 5 months ago!  Recently, after a couple of setbacks, I began questioning myself as to whether or not I was truly supposed to be doing what I was pursuing.  Had I grabbed so tightly of my Free Will that I was doing what I wanted to do regardless as to whether or not it was part of God's plan for my life?

Tex convinced me to not make a decision either way for a while and to give the matter more thought.
Man, I love that man!

What you are currently reading is the result of my giving more contemplation to things.  Self-analysis is not always fun, but I do believe we should all be willing to look within ourselves to get to the truth of what's going on.  And, when we do this, we need to do it prayerfully.

Simply put, I find that I need to release the choke-hold I have on single-tasking.  I still do not believe that overt busyness is good, valuable, worthwhile or healthy . . . but neither is trying to live within a idyllic bubble.  There ya go.

I'm not willing to give up being a wife, a mom, a grandma and a friend.  My husband, my daughters & sons-in-law, my grandkidlettes, my family and my friends are my priority.  That's just how it is and how it is going to stay.  I don't want to change that; nor do I believe I should.  But.  I can and will learn how to balance people with other things . . . say, getting a business going and creating the inventory necessary to fuel such purpose.

Imagine the possibilities!

In your life, are there any extremes to which you are trying to find the balance?  

Are you currently experiencing some type of "life learning curve"?

Tell me about your progress.

Y'all be blessed,


  1. Joshua and I have opposite busy-ness levels right now. He is in three bands, and two of them are getting ready for some pretty big outdoor gigs. Consequently, he has band practice every Sunday after church. His third band is church - which requires Thursday night practices and Sunday morning playing.

    On Saturdays he gives drum lessons.

    Me ... I have my Tuesday evening choir practice and that's it. But I have to watch the girls on Thursday night, find somethign for us to do on Saturdays during his lessons, and then hang with them on Sunday afternoon also. It's trying. So right now, as much as I would love to further pursue my baking hobby (future business?) and my photography, I'm single tasking as a mom while Joshua is multi-tasking as a dad, husband, student (oh yeah ... he is doing online school, too), work, band #1, band #2, church band .......

    Wednesday nights are our only consistent night with no out of the house plans. We cherish those nights.

  2. Wow, Christine! 3 bands??!!!

    I'm glad that y'all have a dedicated night so y'all can spend some together.

    And, keep me posted on your baking; I'm sure one day you will have a great business through it.