Saturday, May 5, 2012

What is a "good" day?

Many days, I find myself making a list of all the things I did - and more often, didn't - do during the day so that I can give my husband/myself/my family a report of how good I'm doing at my various jobs every day. I am a list person. I always have been. I almost always have a list of things I would like to get done during the day, yet more often than not, only one of those gets crossed off the list by bedtime. I realized today that almost every time I qualify the day as a "good" day, it's because I've been "productive." I've crossed things off the list. But since that doesn't happen every day, most of my days are qualified as "not that great," "a waste of time," or "a disappointment." 

But are these labels accurate?

It's quite possible some of the slowest days are indeed the best days. I finished the book Buddhism for Mothers this evening and it's funny that some of the last paragraphs spoke to exactly what I had been contemplating earlier today:

"When we are too plain busy we have no time to absorb the present moment, notice our surroundings [...]. Nor do we have space to reflect on our lives, analyse where we're going and whether we even want to go there. [...] It's so trying to spend time at a park when there's 'important work' to do. When you become too obsessed with productivity it's hard to adapt to the children's pace, to be present and accepting of the present moment."

Slow days may leave dishes in the sink, errands not run, or children still in pajamas at dinnertime. But instead, they might include a long conversation on the phone with an old friend, lots of laughter and giggles while playing with my kids, less tension and irritability that sprouts from being interrupted or hurried, and a sense of relaxation and contentment from having experienced love and joy during the day.

I'm going to make an effort to stop labeling and judging my days. I also know that to stop doing this, I need to stop desiring that those around me think my day was productive and useful. It would be great for everyone to think I'm Super Mom, but at the end of the day, all that matters is what kind of experience the day held for me. And if I have any influence on my perspective, every day can be a "good" day.

1 comment:

  1. You are super mom! And dishes in the sink means your kids ate at home, and therefore got something healthier than McDonald's, so its evidence of something productive! Also, ditto on lists and the need to stop judging my days.