One of the bloggers I follow usually does short posts which are then followed by a lot of comments. She did one recently about finding time to do the things one values. There seemed to be a general consensus that we tend to place those things at the bottom of our list of priorities. Many ideas were put forward as to how to redress the balance and I certainly began to think long and hard about it.
Something really important happened to me as a result of that post. I had a wonderful “light-bulb” moment. Teenage Son is overseas right now and the moment came in the lead-up to his departure. On the Monday morning of that week I walked into his room 20 minutes before he was due to get picked up for school. There he sat on his bed, in his pyjamas, strumming on the guitar. I tactfully suggested that perhaps he get dressed, eat breakfast and then play the guitar; all the while my blood pressure was skyrocketing. He did so but seemed perplexed that I should ask him to leave getting the riff just right to do such mundane things.
Two days later he was in the midst of packing but suddenly disappeared out to our detached rumpus room. A little later, he excitedly came and got me and said I had to listen to a mash up he’d done on the piano. I sat in the armchair listening to his mash up, stewing. I couldn’t understand how he could be so blasé about getting organised just 36 hours before he was due to leave. And then it hit me. If I had been a cartoon character a bolt of lightning would have come out of the sky. Teenage Son doesn’t care if his suitcase is a shambles or if he has to throw on clothes and bolt down cereal. He’d much rather spend time doing what he values.
I smiled and relaxed into the armchair listening to him play. Music is his passion and he places it above everything else because it’s what he values above all else. In reality, I should be learning from him, not the reverse. Maybe, just maybe, I could research ethical companies and write a blog post before I do anything else each day instead of doing a little if I happen to get the chance at the end of the day. And if I don’t get through my “to-do” list does it really matter?
Teenage Son got to school dressed and breakfasted on the Monday. Furthermore, he left home at 4am last Friday neatly packed and all organised. I helped very little. After all, he has to do it by himself when he’s travelling. The two things he made sure to pack were a harmonica and an iPod full of songs!