The “Life Energy” Economy

Here we are, back in Chicago Fall. If I haven’t mentioned it before, this is my favorite season in Chicago. Despite how short Autumn is here, I enjoy the fresh, cooler weather and the shift in the surroundings. And I think Lake Michigan looks coolest in the September sun with Fall clouds above.

Now is also the best time to look back at our summer. Honestly, it was a fast one and I did not keep up the blog with all of our adventures. That has been a great problem in itself. At a glance, the summer provided two great lessons though: one on gratitude (again!) and another on the economy of our life energy. And that’s what I feel like writing on.

We experienced a social calendar summer peak that was amplified by Sweetie’s presence. Her birthday in the spring began a whirlwind of family visits and friend parties that we had never experienced. Add to that the increased activity calendar to meet her increased activity level and you have a bunch going on. So what happens to Dad’s to-do list among this storm? Well, it teaches Dad that there is only so much energy in the box.

This is nothing new – everyone knows that there is not time for everything. Having Sweetie around makes this an everyday reality though and takes the “choose your battles” cliché to a new level. It has seemed like the weeks that I get her involved in a bunch of things is the same week that I can’t even log in to this blog. And the weeks where I work out some posts on the computer, I don’t get anything done on the house. And so on. There is a profound lesson here about where we put our energy and the realization that it can’t go to two places at once. Deep, esoteric lessons. But again, most of us have experienced this and live

Wife and I were recently talking about this because she is reading a book that discussed women’s roles in the business world. She was relating to me how the book states that women can’t have everything, meaning both a career and a family. I stated how no one, honestly, can have everything. Men have just made it okay for their “family” criteria to only encompass a couple of hours after work and the weekends. But for anyone to truly be present in their family time, they need to have boundaries and address the given compromises. The standard for reaching greatness with a given task is considered to be 10,000 hours of practice. When you throw an infant/toddler/child into that equation, reaching that number takes a long time. Not saying it can’t be done, just pointing out the challenge. The more things you put in your life, the harder it is to log hours towards any one area of mastery.

But I digress – I wasn’t trying to get all “heady” here! I just wanted to share my summer lesson about getting some things done and learning not to get super frustrated when I don’t get them all done! I have read about plenty of other parents who seem to accomplish a lot during their time with their children. Honestly, I scour the blog posts for clues about what I need to do differently. I know there are some lessons here about time management and planning and such, but I am not too worried about how much I accomplish compared to other parents. I figure I’ll just keep trying and keep running “to-do” lists. So look for summer flashbacks and pictures again and we are off!

The best part is that Sweetie is doing well and she has enjoyed her summer. Wife is pleasantly challenged at work. Heck, I even helped out Big Daddy B with a side project, and there are house projects getting completed! Overall, our family is in a great place. So the rest of it falls to time. And as far as the rest of the house projects go (and the future ones for that matter), I’ll follow the words of Mechanic Brother Man: “I only need to live long enough to get it all taken care of.”

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