Our household was hit with the double whammy last week. Nora had a stomach flu on Thursday and then Hazel came down with Strep throat on Saturday. I think I did as much laundry, sanitizing, and hand washing in one week as I have all year.
Dave was traveling so with the help of my parents, I was able to make all of my teaching commitments. The rest of my time, I made soup, snuggled, and delivered cool wet washcloths to hot little heads. I did manage to lure the girls outside on their respective sick days by making a comfy pallet in the grass so they could get some sun. I took this opportunity to do a little gardening project in what might have been the nicest weather all year.
Even though I was sorry that the girls were sick, I noticed something about myself this week. I was so clear about what I needed to do. I didn’t have any problem postponing my social commitments and setting aside the things on my to do list. Those decisions seemed to make themselves. I showed up for my clients and took care of the girls. I so appreciated the real privilege of being a special person in Hazel’s and Nora’s lives – someone that can offer a little comfort when they feel crummy. I had the peaceful and satisfying experience of following my dharma.
The girls started to feel better and Dave got back from his trip. My role and my work shifted. Dave took over the cleaning and cooking and as I re-entered the world of email and appointments and phone calls left unanswered, I kind of freaked out. Sitting at my desk, I had a moment of exasperation and overwhelm and I started talking to myself outloud (never a good sign) exclaiming, “Ugh! I didn’t get anything done this week.”
What?! How can I gush about how truly satisfied, blessed, and grateful I am for the chance to care for my children and work with yoga clients then, mere hours later, return to the work of maintaining my very satisfying yoga teaching career, and feel like my week at home was wasted? How is it that when in this other framework of emails and appointments what I actually did for my the people in my life and how I felt about it doesn’t even count?
Big question, but here’s my take-away…
I would like to be as satisfied with all the work I do as I am taking care of my girls. I would like my actions and my time spent to be coming from this place of dharma, because I can see that it’s a qualitatively different way of being. I need to rethink how I’m approaching the “work” aspect of my life. I’m going to have to listen and follow from a different place – some place other than, if I stay busy and spend lots of my time emailing then I’ll be doing the work that will generate business and help me to be successful. Real success is that feeling I had with my girls. Just the thought of spending most of my life in that place, the place of dharma, gives me chills. That’s the kind of success I want…the kind in which my role is clear, important, and satisfying. Decisions come easily because priorities are in place. And the measure of a good week has everything to do with the people I served and nothing to do with the number of emails I responded to.
Maybe you have thoughts about this or you’ve found ways that help you stay connected. I’d love to hear from you in the comment section below.
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