Tuesday, July 19, 2011

The Productivity Curse

Do you ever feel it?  The need to always be doing.

I have been thinking about this a lot lately - the pull for me to be 'productive'. 

When did hobbies become must-dos?  Duties that must be performed - the appeal gone, replaced by obligation.  Is it the pull of our belongings?  For me, it is all those craft supplies whose existence in my life must be justified by their use.

Bloomers in progress for Ginger
When did my evenings become as busy as my days?  My catch up time for all the things I didn't get done.

I think part of the drive has been becoming a homemaker.  When I was in fulltime work I would spend many an evening (and, indeed, some of the workday - policy work is either frenetic or non-existent) reading blogs and dreaming of the days I would stay home with our children and fashion a home.  I envisaged much crafting and even bought supplies in anticipation of the fact.

A quilt waiting for me to get around to sewing the binding on.
Once Ginger arrived the realities of childcare hit me - there are not all the hours in the day I hoped for.  I often read blogs (well, hum, there goes part of the day) and marvel at the 'production' of others.  I question myself.  What am I not doing right that they can do and make and sew all that they do, while I feel like I have had a good day if the washing is hung, the kitchen is clean and dinner is served?

Perhaps it is this season of life.  Ginger's needs so drive my day that often there is not the space - mental or physical for me to do all I wish.  And yet, I want to.  So much so that I think I have lost something along the way in this drive to produce - joy in just being.  Stillness with the good book or, indeed, any good book.

Do you remember as a child when time seemed endless?  When a weekend could seem like it stretched forever?  Their was no need to be doing all the time.  Hours of contentment could be found lying on my back on the trampoline, or reading on top of the monkey bars or curled up in a lounge chair.

Yet another WIP - a cardigan for Ginger.

Now, having idle hands feels like a guilty pleasure. But, I think it is a necessary part of a healthy life - balance in all things.
As I am conciously working to create a better rhythm for our days I am seeking to find a time to recreate that stillness.  I think an early start before the rest of the family rises will be the best time.  It is quiet then, the perfect time to curl up and turn inward or, indeed, upward.

When do you find stillness in your days?


  1. I am hearing you - I think that feelings like these come with knowing that you will soon be leaving. Would you believe that after two years I finally have the colck and a few photos hanging on the walls??? Oh and I have had a massive destash and clean up of the bathroom and under the sink cupboards - LOL. Maybe it is the knowing that I will loose a bedroom when we move.
    I find that I have had to give myself a day off of the computer at least once a week - it keeps me grounded - blogs and pinterest will still be there another day.

  2. I just noticed this post. I cannot advise you - I'm middle-aged and have never had children. But still, the search for the right balance in my time and activities is what I'm *so* interested in. I have to say that I think I've gained the most insights from praying about it - God has healped me to slowly see things in another way. We're all different, with different levels of energy, etc. And it's very good to be occupied - we don't want to give in to laziness.
    On the other hand, we have to remember to sometimes "be still, and know that I am God".

    I juat wrote down this quote from Ann Voskamp the other day, because I knew I NEEDED it:
    "Only when we rest do we relinquish our ambitions to be like God."

    Blessings to you!