I had one of those moments, one of those aha moments.
I was reading an article about ‘being versus doing’ and realised that I was one of those ‘goal focused’ doing people. You know, those people who are always striving for something and thinking about where to next. It wasn’t a great feeling to be honest. It had created a low-level anxiety that often manifested as guilt from not ticking off everything I felt I should have done. Argh, that word ‘should’ is one I’m working on banning from my vocabulary!
I have made some small changes since then to try and redress the balance to get more ‘being’ moments into my life. More time exercising, cooking and making time for a cuppa! It’s definitely been a good shift for me.
It got me thinking about the kind of parent I have become too. Was the goal-focus in my own life having an impact on my daughters?
I decided to ask them what they like best when they’re not at school or daycare. Here’s what they told me…
“I love doing art because it has no rules”
“I love going on adventure walks”
“I love making sculptures on the beach”
“I love my scooter, bike and ball”
I reflected that these are the moments when we let them be. The moments when they get to explore on their own terms without the focused gaze of an adult making sure they’re achieving and making steady progress.
There is plenty of opportunity for the goal focus to come into play for them; at school, swimming lessons, music lessons or whatever else they’re into. But these aren’t their happiest moments. It felt good to hear that these ‘being’ times are familiar experiences for them.
Perhaps I’m not yet infecting my kids with the ‘doing’ mindset that has been out of balance for me. It’s also made me reflect that it’s now on me to keep this in balance, role modelling how to keep their inherent ‘being’ mindset well beyond their childhood years.
I’m off for a sea swim now, to go and look at the horizon, right after this cuppa. (Haha, yeah right, but you get the idea!)