So one of my favorite children’s book author/illustrators is Peter Reynolds. Both for his whimsical art and witty, thought-provoking stories, I feel like he really, “gets it,” when it comes to life. One of Peter’s works is called So Few of Me. It is a delightful story about a little boy named Leo who wishes that there were more of him to get more accomplished, only to realize that more of him makes more to do. And this is something I can relate to.
Lucille Ball, in her infinite wisdom once said, “If you want something done, ask a busy person to do it.” This is the truth, because sometimes I swear, the more that I take on, the more I put on my plate, the more I am asked, expected and assumed to do by others and myself. I think that there have literally been days when I could have laughed in the face of someone who asked, “Got two minutes?” NO! I don’t! As a teacher and mother and wife and–did I mention we have a puppy? NO! I do not have a minute, a second even it seems at times to add another thing, and yet I do.
I push and I pull, onward and upward, fragmenting myself into tasks and checklists until I’m not done (never done) but close. Then all of that work becomes a collection of pieces I can sweep together, becoming an unclear memory of productivity that doesn’t seem to amount to as much as I hoped it would.
So what’s the point? Exactly. What is!?! What is the point of rushing and running and panting and praying just to get through a list of tasks that will automatically refill itself while you’re sleeping? Wouldn’t it be better instead to take a breath? Read a book with your kids? Read a book for yourself? Call that person you’ve been, “meaning to call?” Or, heaven forbid it, sleep!
In truth I am an awful hypocrite; I’m honest enough to tell you what to do but keep on running Raggedy Anne-style tomorrow. But … I have identified the problem, and “they” say, (whoever the illusive ‘they’ are) that identifying our problems is the first step toward a solution. So here’s to the fragmented works-in-progress. I’m right there with you.