Oh my goodness. I woke up this morning and felt a crispness in the air that reminded me that it is almost autumn once again. The season of back-to-school and pumpkin spice is upon us, and I am thrilled. I’m not happy to see summer go, as I try not to love one season more than the next, but rather to appreciate all times for what they are and what they bring with them. I am just marveling at the speed at which this summer seems to have passed.

Often we think of summer as a season filled with lazy days. Even if we are still working during the summer months, which many people who are not in at the academic world are, there are family vacations, outdoor concerts and festivals, and other activities that clue us into the fact that it is warmer outside and we should be recreating more. We should be “leisuring.” Wait, the word “leisure” cannot be made into a verb because being more leisurely is not something we “do,” it is a state of being, and simply being is something that seems more challenging between September and June, the non-summer months.

Striking a balance between being and doing is a tough one. There is a part of me that feels that I’m stagnating, if I am not being productive, and a part of me that feels frazzled when I try to overproduce. And I think far too often, we confuse productivity with being purposeful, and that is where I sometimes find myself getting lost. I can be very busy, juggling many balls at once, working with action lists a mile long, and, at the same time, feel like I’m not getting anything accomplished. This seems to happen when I forget what my purpose is. Busy-ness without purpose is just busy work. Business without purpose is much the same.

Fall has always been, to me, the perfect reset time. Never one to make New Year’s resolutions, I have always found that back-to-school time always seemed like the natural time to reset my intentions, as I would always be focused on a new schedule of courses, as a student, and now as a professor/teacher. What do I want to be, I would find myself questioning myself. Autumn is a time that, to me, is full of possibilities and the setting of intentions. Time to get back to work.

But the loss of my children’s father still aches and seeks to teach. One lesson that I continue to try to incorporate into my days and our home life is that of just how precious time is. And not the time that I spend checking off tasks from action cards or bullet journals. I think we are more apt to be moved by the times in which we were being and not doing. And so, as I shift into my “getting back to work” mode, I’m deeply focused on how I can do more “being” in my “doing. “

Being present in all that we do means being mindful and purpose-driven, something that is easy to lose sight of in the hustle and bustle of life, especially when schedules are full, and there is much to be done. Before we know it, we are doing, moving a million miles a minute, focused on getting things done, all the while forgetting why we are doing them. And while we might actually accomplish a lot, in this action-driven mode, we too often find ourselves feeling exhausted and less than fulfilled, despite all that is being done. Sometimes when we are purposeful, we actually achieve fewer tasks, but the ones we do achieve are richer experiences for us, and we are able to be focused on giving the best of ourselves while doing them.

Does this mean, I won’t have action cards list? No, I will. My mind is a sieve, and if I don’t write it down, it’s not likely to happen. But it is my thought, that with more focus on my core values and purpose, I will not need to use my action cards in quite the same way. If I’m living a more intentionally purposeful life, then much that I do should fall into line with what I want to “be” and thus provide me with a sense of joy and fulfillment. My question at the end of each day will no longer focus on what I accomplished, but rather who I was in the world today, making sure that my actions are not random and disparate, but helping me be what this world needs me to be and what I wish to be.

1 comment

  • Mary N Bucklew: October 23, 2018
    Author image

    love your stuff, Trina. So…. to the bone. And heart.

Leave a comment

All blog comments are checked prior to publishing