Is Productivity Killing Passion?

We’re so bloody productive these days aren’t we? And if we’re not … we feel guilty and like we should be doing SO MUCH MORE.

I sometimes fear that we are becoming a bit machine-like. We are so BUSY doing, doing, doing … we forget to stop for a minute and take stock.

A typical day for most women my age goes something like this: Wake up, get kids sorted for school, squeeze in breakfast for ourselves (maybe, maybe not), get kids to school, go to work or get home and start work, clean house, buy groceries, fit in some exercise (maybe, maybe not) collect children, ferry them off to after school activities, do homework, organise dinner, dishes, bath, stories, kids in bed … find wine, slump on couch and crawl to bed … oh and talk to partner (maybe, maybe not).

Ok, I’m exhausted just writing that … so how does it feel living like this every day?

Sure, we may feel pleased we achieved so much in day. We may feel relieved that we managed to tick most of the boxes off our to-do-lists … But do we feel inspired? Do we feel excited? Do we feel passionate? Do we feel appreciated?

If we’re lucky we have a job that truly inspires us and fills us with joy and we have abundant energy allowing us to work, raise children, do the domestic duties, cherish our partner and find time to relax … how many of you are saying “I wish” right now?

Is this even possible? Can we HAVE IT ALL, AT THE SAME TIME and still be HAPPY?

Or are we just setting the bar far too high and expecting that we can maintain this superwoman status without flinching?

I think it’s great that women can achieve so much and the opportunities we have available to us these days … but are we being too hard on ourselves? Are we expecting too much and what are we compromising by doing so?

Sometimes I feel like we are so hell-bent on being productive and ‘successful’ that we are running the risk of becoming machine-like and losing our human connections and de-valuing that which makes us human in the first place.

You’ll notice in the above description of a typical day you don’t find the following: a long walk along the beach, sitting for two hours with a cuppa and chatting to a friend, ringing someone overseas and re-connecting with them, reading a book or going out to dinner with a loved one.

Why is this? Is it because these things are now seen as taking too much time? A guilty pleasure? Or something that just needs to wait until you have some spare time?

Is time so scarce now that we can’t use it to connect with people, pursue our passions or just slow down and relax?

Oh sorry I did forget one thing from the list … scroll through Facebook feed, like a couple of posts and maybe comment (if there’s time!)

And if we are living like this, what impact is it having on our children? Are we consistently portraying the message that we just don’t have time? Will they value friendships, nature, passions etc, if they never see us pursuing them and investing our valuable time into them?

Even the school system seems to emphasise more machine-like, productive assets than human values. For example, whilst I think my children’s school offers many opportunities and has got some good systems in place – I wonder if the school values could be a bit more human?

As they stand, the school values are Respect, Responsibility, Resilience and Resourcefulness. These are all great attributes but they seem quite ‘Sergeant Majorish’ to me and I’m sure you could programme a robot to possess these same responses.

What about human values like empathy, compassion, kindness and individuality? Are these not important enough anymore?

I know that being resilient is important in order to survive life with its harsh edges, but what about the values that add meaning to life?

Are we passing these by in order to be productive?

And are we teaching our children that emotion is a weakness and that ‘being tough’ is the only way to navigate through life’s obstacles?

I personally would love to see some awards handed out to our children who are kind to others and act in a compassionate, empathic way.

I realise this post has a lot more questions than answers and some of us are so far down the ‘life is too busy’ rabbit hole that it is hard to navigate a way back.

However, I think it’s important to take the time to think about these things once in a while and to take stock of your own life.

Sometimes we need to ask ourselves whether we feel we are truly living an authentic life. One which makes us feel inspired and alive inside.

And if the answer is no … perhaps we can just allow ourselves a snippet of that golden resource called time to have a think about what changes can be made in our own lives to bring back the passion.

Good luck and keep smiling,

Kat

 

 

Blonde By Nature

Kat the co-driver

Although now a brunette, I am, and always will be, Blonde By Nature – meaning although I consider myself a somewhat intelligent human being I am prone to bouts of utter ‘blondeness’ where I can say or do incredibly stupid things.

This ‘blondeness’ can take many shapes or forms – one of which is my uncanny ability to hear song lyrics slightly differently than they actually are.
For instance : Dave Dobbyn’s hit “Slice of Heaven” was always a ‘Slice of Lemon’ to me!
Tom Petty’s “Runnin’ Down A Dream” was ‘Running Down The Street’ and Joe Cocker’s “Love Lift Us Up Where We Belong” was ‘The Lift Takes Us Up Where We Belong.’
Once I actually found out the accurate lyrics – I still thought mine made more sense!

Alongside this talent, I also possess the ability to come out with some right ‘dosies’ and do some really dense things. If I were to list all of the occasions where this has happened, although amusing, this post would become pretty tedious and long-winded.

So, instead I thought I would just fill you in on my Pièce de résistance – my best blonde moment to date!

It all began on a sunny day approximately 20 years ago. My friend and I had recently acquired our drivers licences’ so thought it most appropriate to take a cruise in her mother’s car. As it was such a gorgeous day, we decided the beach would be an ideal destination.

So off we went departing from Tauranga, heading over the harbour bridge, destined for Mount Maunganui. My friend in the driver’s seat and myself, as co-driver, in the passenger seat.
Although the bridge was built approximately 4 years earlier motorists were still charged a toll, payable when you passed through the lanes. Some of these lanes were manned by people in little booths and others were AUTOMATIC.

So there we were cruising along, windows down, blonde hair flying – listening to “Slice of Lemon” – whoops “Heaven” on the radio when we started heading towards the toll booths.

Just as I was pondering which lane would be the fastest, my friend veered towards the AUTOMATIC lane.
Panic-stricken, I grabbed the steering wheel and shouted “Stop! You can’t go in there … Your car is a MANUAL!”

Lucky for me, I also possess the ability to laugh at myself!

Keep smiling,
Kat x

Aside

Life’s Picture

Painting Sunny Day at the Beach

Painting Sunny Day at the Beach (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

If I could paint a picture

Of what my life would be

It would be a golden beach

Each shell a memory

An ocean of opportunity

A crowd of new faces to meet

A sky of uncertainty

Mountains with solid feet

Surfers catching the ultimate wave

Couples holding hands

Old men with their fishing rods

And castles in the sand

Lets take the ‘Scenic Route’

Nobby's Beach 29/01/13

Our modern life is like driving on a voyeuristic highway:

We expect everything instantly and are very uncomfortable with waiting.

We are available all the time and spend a large portion of this time in an entirely different reality – Cyperspace.

Popularity is King and has replaced hard work and good behaviour as the criteria for reward. This is evident with more and more posts appearing featuring kids holding messages such as ‘My mummy said she would buy us a puppy if we get 1 million likes on facebook.”

Bullying is no longer limited to the schoolyard and relationships are started and finished on the web or by text message.

Well, I for one am getting tired and am desperately seeking a rest area or perhaps even an alternate route.

So, how about getting off this highway and taking the scenic route?

It might take longer and be off the beaten track; It may not be the most popular or status quo – but I bet it’s beautiful, enriching and definitely more of an adventure!

We could meet some fascinating people, have real conversations and authentic experiences.

We won’t be tagged, liked or commented on but instead smiled at, hugged and spoken to.

Let’s take a chance, try new things and most importantly stop, breathe and take it all in!

La Joie De Vivre

With the celebratory season upon us and a new year ahead, I thought it would be a good time to reflect on my life and how I am living it.

I know that sounds pretty deep, but I figure if I get in the habit of doing this more often, it won’t be such a big deal.

First of all, I have to say I lead a charmed life : I have a devoted husband, amazing children, a supportive family and fabulous friends.

That being said, I don’t feel like I am embracing this charming life as I should or being grateful for it as often as I would like.

It is all too easy to get bogged down in the stresses of daily life and not take time out to ‘smell the roses’.  However, I have decided I not only want to smell the roses, I want to soak up their fragrance until it is seeping out of my pores and give my life a bear hug so hard it is gasping for breath.

‘La Joie De Vivre’ translates as the ‘joy of living’ and this is the mission I am setting myself for the New Year and beyond.

I want to experience the joy of life as I constant in my life not just in fleeting moments.  I want to ‘take the bull by the horns’ and launch myself into such a joyful, happy state that I may not recognise my former self.

All sounds pretty zen and cool right?  By how the heck do I achieve this?  I get the sneaking suspicion that I am not going to get an ‘injection of grasshoppers’ and leap out of bed tomorrow ecstatically happy and joyful without a bit of effort on my part.

So, I think I will start with myself and “Learning to Live With Myself”.

I would love to delve into this now, but the demands of motherhood beckon, so will have to wait for another time.

In the meantime, have a Merry Christmas and Keep Smiling!