Sometimes I rue the day I went after so much more education than simply achieving an undergrad degree in theatre. I’d like to blame all the extra schooling, the English education licensure and the Masters degree in English Composition, for my insatiable curiosity and need to consume more information, but the truth is, that’s just who I am. It’s who I’ve always been.
Sometimes my voracious appetite for more simply overwhelms me. I peruse 14 article headlines, knowing I want to read them all, but I talk myself out of any of them because there’s a podcast I should listen to. I shelve that so I can watch a valuable MasterClass, but I spend much of that viewing time thinking about how I really need to get going on the latest book I checked out of the library. Over all of that, I critically recognize that I haven’t written a blog post for more than three days, and I need to have a consistent posting schedule or people won’t find me reliable. And what about creating the lead magnet item that will get people to sign up for my newsletter—you know, the one that I don’t currently send out but know I need create and get consistent with? Then there’s engaging with the online groups I belong to as well as redeveloping my Personal Systems Disruption Retreat schedule and creating content for Daily Dose of Dr Marry & DD. There’s hurrying up to get through my morning meditation “practice” so I can get ready for spin class. Drink my daily three glasses of fiber powder, get the bread punched down for its second rise, remember to take my B vitamin drops, take the dog for walk before it gets dark…And NONE of this even begins to address the work involved in my day job!
Sound familiar? Are you scattered in a million different directions, chasing one idea and the next and the next? Chasing but never actually catching whatever it is you are desperately chasing? Maybe what you’re chasing is different: kids and their schedules, aging parents and their appointments, volunteer obligations, your running, crafting, writing, cooking group, date night with your spouse, keeping your online dating profile fresh…
Whatever it is that makes you hop from one idea or activity to the next to the next, flitting like a bee between wildflowers, aren’t you exhausted?
Don’t you sometimes wish you could just pick one single flower and suck the nectar dry? What if one flower could satiate your mental, intellectual, physical, emotional, spiritual self? Why do so many of us feel the need to tear from here to there to there to there and back again, only to start all over at the first flower?
For me, the first flower could be my day job. It’s a more than full-time occupation, doing work I feel proud of; work that challenges me on many levels and utilizes many of my strengths as well as developing new ones. It pays well; I have excellent colleagues, and I believe in the mission. Isn’t that a big enough flower to keep me full?
Because the other flowers are so tempting They are each beautiful and smell so good.
And because I’m not by nature a “bloom where you are planted” kind of person. I’m a striver, a seeker, a longer of adventure. I can both appreciate the fullness of my current flower and desire to taste from all the others in the garden.
The struggle, at least for me, is giving myself permission to take the time to enjoy even one little sip before I must be off trying another one. I feel immense pressure, mostly self imposed, to find the “right” flowers—the ones that pack the most bang for their buck, so to speak. Is that articles, podcasts, videos, books, creating my own content? Do I need to go within and get quiet, or do I need to make a great big public ruckus? Is it better to try to gather the tiniest bit of nectar from as many flowers as possible, or should I find a way to limit my reach but drink more deeply from fewer petals?
What are you doing to attempt to manage all of this? Do you have any best practices to share? I’m not looking to settle exclusively on one flower because that’s simply not how I’m built. What I long for is to find a way to break down the immense garden in front of me, to trust that the flowers will all be there tomorrow, so whatever ones I get to today are the ones I get to today. And if today’s flowers are gone tomorrow, to trust there will be another garden full to select from then.