Pausing for breath

This morning my outlook was more “grating and mind full” than “mindful and grateful” this afternoon I’m looking forward to the next few months being like a giant magic advent calendar. The change came when I paused for breath.

Today I decided to pause for breath to reflect on where I am and where I’m going. The last time I did that was nearly two months ago. I was sitting here in my office listening to the kids enjoy the last days of the summer holidays, pondering the change of season, looking back with gratitude and forward with anticipation. My schedule since then has been rich, rewarding and pretty unforgiving. My outlook this morning was not so much “grateful and mindful” as “grating and mind full.” You see, when things get busy I tend to go into what my husband calls “execution mode.” That’s his polite way of saying I become driven to the point of driving everyone, including myself, crazy. It’s like I hold my breath and say “It’s ok, we can do this everyone, no time for questions or stopping to smell the roses, just grit your teeth and plough on.” It’s a short term strategy for managing busy periods that may have served me in the past, but it’s not creative, fun or fulfilling, and it’s time to find a different way. So I decided to take a walk in the beautiful autumn sun to reflect on how I want the next few months to be. I started to change my posture from looking down to looking up, I started to play around other metaphors for how the next few months could be, I started to think about the next few months from the perspective of my 3 year old. After trying a few things, I decided that I would like my perspective on the next 2 months to be like a giant advent calendar. In my giant advent calendar there is an overall picture, an end-point, and a plan, but there is also something to be discovered and added to the picture each day, and of course an over-riding sense of excitement and anticipation. Choosing to live from this perspective will require me to be disciplined and delighted, focused and spontaneous. Creating this perspective has also given me a sense of which things I want to say yes to and no to in the coming months: in particular “yes” to enjoy the wonder and anticipation of Christmas through my daughter’s eyes, and to sharing that spirit in my work and with family. And you? What’s your perspective on the coming months? Will you pause for breath and choose?

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