Ever have one of those lives….?
“Is there anything you don’t do?”
These are the words I have heard over and over again the last couple of months, from completely unrelated directions. From folks who do not even know each other. Whether it’s the crochet hooks I carve, the piano tools in my truck, the two-week gluten-free paleo meal plan I wrote, the charities I support, the new kids’ robotics group I’ve embraced, the books I’m writing or the tech event I’m going to help the host with – these words have recently popped up everywhere. And I’m not even touching on all the mom hats in my life.
On the one hand, the question is a bit confusing and absurd. Of course there’s plenty I don’t do. What kind of question is that? Wait, am I supposed to answer that? Still, the repetition from all directions was getting my attention. And I had to work hard not to suddenly stare at the speakers when the words popped out of their mouths, as if I was caught on the set of Twilight Zone or Doctor Who (oh if only).
So the question has been repeating in my life and now inside my head. “Is there anything you don’t do?”
The words were expressed each time with amazement and shared as a compliment. Which I found a bit embarrassing with each broken-record-exact-quote-repeat. I nearly found myself ducking, as if catching some ball out of the corner of my eye that had been chucked at my head. Yaaaaahhhhhhh…….! Where’d that come from? I didn’t say anything to warrant the statement. It came out of no where.
Sure, I have a lot of interests and have done a lot of things. A lot of people have. And I’m a pretty open person. But I don’t generally tend to talk about every facet of my life, except as it relates to someone or a conversation. Maybe if you ask a question or get to know me, but there’s no need to talk about unrelated facets when we’re trying to get something done. It’s just not logical to do that.
The only exception is really this blog, where I tend to write about whatever crosses my brain and the keyboard at the same time. Sometimes it’s analysis I find interesting, want to record and think others might enjoy. And sometimes it’s simply analysis that I myself am in need of, and work out in writing. Sometimes I’m even experimenting or actively exercising my writing skills. It’s a blog. It’s fluid like that.
Still there was no logical reason, not even from my own behavior, to warrant the repeated question. These people don’t even read my blog that I’m aware of. But I find that when the Universe repeatedly throws something in your lap, especially from seemingly unrelated directions, perhaps it’s begging a second look. What are you hounding me for Universe?
And I’ve begun to wonder – what is it that I don’t do?
I mentioned this repeated message to an acquaintance a couple weeks ago. They suggested that perhaps what I’m not doing is getting rest and taking care of myself. That I’m doing too much and not saying no enough. This is not too unlike a conversation a good friend of mine and I had about 8 years ago. About how when people are so amazed at your super-human ability to accomplish and handle so much, that it probably should be a sign of being out of balance and how it’s not healthy, nor necessarily something to be proud of. That no one is meant to keep up that kind of pace and not pay a dear price. If you care about your kids and family, pace yourself and invest in your quality of life so you can stick around and be a good parent and mate, not a crabby-cranky-exhausted-sick one.
Truthfully, I must admit that I’m not sleeping enough this week since the kids went back to school and because I’ve stayed up late to get work done. Even tonight I’ve been wrangling with cleaning up an audio file for hours. However, I also know in my heart that rest and downtime is not what this message is about. I’m pretty anal about that already. No one knows better than I the importance of pacing your life. It was one of my life’s biggest lessons and nearly cost me mine. I literally woke up one day and could not get up. Umm, been there done that, got that bat right between the eyes. And that’s not it this time.
So back to the question, only this time slower, with a grin, a twinkle and a sly tone…. What is it that I don’t do? Hmmmm….
The interesting thing is that though it took me by surprise and now has my attention, this experience does not feel like a warning. No… I’ve felt that warning before.
There are new things afoot in my life… This time it feels like an invitation.
And perhaps one to play a game I haven’t tried before.