Life is full of transitions — big ones like getting married or having a child or starting a new job, and small ones like watching day turn into night and shifting from weekend to work week. These transitions are a great time to reflect — even if just for a few minutes — on what’s going well and what’s not. They’re a good time to check in about whether we’re rested or tired…energized or ambivalent…taking care of ourselves or not…and prioritizing the things that matter most. I consciously thought about these things for a few minutes as I drove to work this morning, taking stock of how the weekend went and what intentions I want to set for the week ahead. Here are some reminders I’m holding onto as the work week begins…
Little Eyes Are Watching: Our 2-yr-old daughter was busily working on her own in the kitchen yesterday. I assumed she was “cooking” something in her play kitchen until she told me it was time to begin “spin class.” She told me she had water and pistachios ready in case we got hungry and thirsty, and she was ready to turn up the music and SPIN (note: she has never been to a spin class…she’s only heard me saying that I’m going to one…so her version of spin class was literally SPINNING, until I was sick and dizzy and ready to fall down). The point here is: as parents and as people…we don’t always realize how our behavior is impacting the people around us. If I had spent the weekend watching TV, my daughter likely would have organized a Downton Abbey marathon…not a spin class. Health begets health….something I posted about a few weeks ago in Cheering Us On.
Deliciousness Can Be Easy: My mother-in-law was visiting this weekend, and she’s a great cook. What I love about her cooking sensibility is that she focuses on simplicity, and she proves that great cooking doesn’t need to be complicated. She made a beautifully seared prime rib, roasted potatoes and spinach and mango salad with seemingly minimal effort. No recipes required. I covered this idea of simple meals in an earlier post — 3-Ingredient Meals — and I love seeing it in practice. It’s a great reminder that time need not be a barrier to healthy + yummy cooking.
Technology is Complicated: If you missed it, this New York Times essay, “How Not to be Alone” is thought-provoking as we think about the role technology plays in our lives and how it can shape our behavior. Here’s a teaser that might make you want to take five minutes to read this: “I worry that the closer the world gets to our fingertips, the further it gets from our hearts.” If you’re interested in the conversation about technology and well-being, here’s an earlier post about the power of unplugging.
Make New Friends, but Keep the Old: We spent time with three different out of town guests over the weekend (mother-in-law, old friend from Wisconsin, and old friend from Calgary), and I was reminded how important it is to invest in lifelong relationships. I know it’s cheesy, but I’ve always loved the piece about friends in that famous Baz Luhrmann “Sunscreen” poem/song: “Understand that friends come and go,but for the precious few you should hold on. Work hard to bridge the gaps in geography and lifestyle because the older you get, the more you need the people you knew when you were young.” Both new and old friends add huge value to our lives…and seeing old ones face-to-face is an important reminder that we need both.
The Power of Focus: I don’t have any weekend revelations about purpose to share — after all, it was just a weekend! But I did do a bit of thinking about focus. We went to a park Saturday that’s famous for kite-flying, and I loved getting lost in the moment while watching the colorful kits swirling in the air (similar to the Hockey Moments I covered a while ago). Our lives have the potential to be totally absorbed by distraction, making focus elusive. Jonathan Safran Foer quotes Simone Weil in the loneliness essay I mentioned above: “Attention is the rarest and purest form of generosity.” This is so true…generosity to others…and to ourselves. This leads to my intention for this week…FOCUS. Less email, more making stuff. Less breadth, more depth. Less interruption, more impact.
What’s your intention for the week? And does it stem from something you did, read, heard, or realized this weekend?