Productivity and efficiency are both such attractive topics to me. I love the idea that work can always be done better. And, I know people who are both more productive and more efficient than I am, proving it can be done.
In my notebook I have anonymous quotes that caught my eye:
“He had no wasted motion.”
“Things happened coming and going.”
In many ways I have been afraid of rest (and rust). I don’t like to waste time. Rest often seems like a waste and can look very lazy to others as well.
However, I have found in practice that always trying to do things as fast as possible is very stressful for me. I prefer to relax and enjoy what I am doing rather than race against time or a schedule. My temperament is high strung and anxious. Doing things quickly, under stress, is actually less productive for me.
For example, I stress to pack the family for the trip to Disney, we rush out the door to leave at the appointed time, and one hour into the journey I remember the tickets are home.
When overly stressed I forget things, lose or misplace important items, and sometimes lose my patience when a more paced procedure would actually save me time.
I now think that rest is important for all people. We need to punctuate times of high stress and activity with low stress and rest periods. But, especially if you are high strung like I am, the counterintuitive slow method might actually work better for you.
The navy seals have a saying that “slow is smooth, and smooth is fast.” This is a different way to look at efficiency.
But, how do you go slowly and still do things fast? I am not sure I have the answer to that question. Many tasks seem to take as much time as you give them. And, I have never been good at estimating time.
Ways that do work for me:
I set my own deadlines early with a couple of days grace period in case I get behind or life surprises me. That extra planned cushion relieves stress and allows me to focus on a task without the distraction of worry.
I plan in larger chunks of time with fewer transitions. I have never done well with a minute by minute schedule. It makes me feel like a robot with no freedom, and if anyone even speaks to me it ends up making me late like dominos all throughout the day. I want to talk to people. I want to be a person who has time for other people. I feel the world is harsh enough without all of us too busy to even be human to each other. I don’t feel like myself when a routine task seems to be more important than a precious person. This is a personal value betrayal. So, I have to have grace time within my life if at all possible.
There is an old latin phrase, “festina lente” which means to hurry slowly. I like that.
I like being the hare not the tortoise. So I need to pace my pulses and pauses in such a way that I’m not too active or too slow for too long. Like setting the wavelength of a beautiful wave, I think each pattern might be individual. My husband, for example, likes a steady pace (and he usually will beat me).
So, I’m giving myself permission to not only rest, but trust myself that I will get up and go. I do. I enjoy working hard and making a difference every day. I am thankful for that motivation.
I just can’t run off so fast that my rest is a collapse. Instead, I am going to practice hurrying slowly.
Even if you have a less than ideal past or a challenging disability, you may be able to get a job at Goodwill. In our city they have many positions open and are hiring now (Aug 2022).
Goodwill Industries began in Boston at the turn of the 19th century as an idea by the Rev. Edgar J. Helms. The idea was simple, fight poverty not with charity, but with trade skills—and provide a chance for the poor and the unemployed to do productive work.
One of my children got hired there recently, and I overheard the orientation materials. It was inspiring. I love to work somewhere that my personal mission matches the organization’s. There are more types of jobs than you might realize as well such as e-commerce and job skills training.
Sometimes that first job is the hardest to get. Other times it takes networking which is hard to do if you are new in an area. Whatever the situation, it is exciting to be helping solve and prevent our community problems proactively. I’m happy to know more about and support their mission.
PS: Indeed.com is an easy way to apply to many places but no one I know has had much luck with it. I hear that they receive way too many applications. Most people I know who have met with success have gone directly to the company or organization’s website and applied directly.
Haven't I seen your face before?
When last I walked this way,
I never noticed you.
I was blinded by other things
such small and nameless things
were you always there?
I couldn't see your wounds or scars,
you felt no warmth from me; of how,
could you ever call me, "friend?"
Neighbor, dear neighbor, what shall I do?
Could the touch of my hand be his gift to you?
and have I walked by your way, saying others will stay?
When next I come,
will his work be done?
For today, I'm going your way.
His eyes were kind, they saw everything
and whene'er he walked my way,
He always noticed me.
I was sorrowing for many things
through pain and suffering
he was always there.
He could see every wound and scar
He gave new life to me; of how,
Could I ever serve my friend?
Neighbor, dear neighbor, yes, I will do.
May the touch of my hand be his gift to you.
And as I pass by your way, I will see you and pray
"Each time I come,
may his work be done.
Dear Savior, I'm going your way."
--DarEll S. Hoskisson
Two roads diverged ahead of me
to avoid the most sour
or find the most sweet,
I looked both ways before choosing my street.
By choosing one, I'd neglect the other
In fact, there may be thousands,
I'd never discover.
Yet standing still brought me even less.
Preferring somewhere to nowhere
I chose left which I judged a-right
would bring me to
the best fruit in sight
After just a few steps
I stubbed my toe
This wasn't the way
it was supposed to go!
I glanced back
the way I came
it seemed every other way
had less shame.
I saw my friends go whizzing by
while my progress was labored and slow
I didn't even really know
if I was headed where I wanted to go.
But, to quit now, I'd lose
the promising fruit.
So making the best of it,
I kept moving each foot.
I felt heavier and heavier;
it seemed a great weight.
"Surely there's more," I thought
"This can't be my fate."
"I might be flying
if I let go of this sack.
These things are just
holding me back."
So I turned again
and looked where I'd been.
Every road looked better
than the one I was in.
"If only", "should have",
"would have" and "never"
mocked me from every other
possible golden path.
Just when I thought,
"I might as well quit"
and decided to rub my feet
while I'd sit,
I looked at my fruit
that had come at such cost
All I worked for, protected, and carried
was not lost.
I saw now that no one could
take them from me
I had gathered them
on the way to the tree.
I looked around again
and saw it was true.
You can't travel any road
without a bump or two.
Those paths that had all looked
so brilliant and smooth
had hazards and costs
and benefits, too.
I needed to come this way!
I'd do it again.
I'm glad I'm here.
I'll move on and then..
I'll keep choosing a street
and I'll keep moving on
it is the only way
to who I will become.
I'm free to be me
and like it or not
I'm boss of myself
whether I have a boss or not
And when my life's all
said and done
I hope my family will
know the one
they call "wife" and "mom"
loved them more than all the rest.
I hope they'll know
I gave them my very best.
At work or church there are others
that might do just as well
but nobody else
my stories can tell
No one else sings
with my voice lullabies
or holds them close
to look at them with my eyes
No one else can be me for them
Though they have a new wife,
a new mother, or new friends.
God made me
free to be me
from my own unique face
to my taking up this space.
It's true, another could
take my job or my spot
but be another me?
Of course not!
Irreplaceable is what I am.
I'm one of a kind and so
like a snowflake,
I have a beauty all my own.
Though I may quit
no other you
can take my I.
Just a heads up, parents, that there are after high school options (and during high school options) that you may not know about that could be amazing opportunities for your child.
Dual enrollment, concurrent enrollment, AP classes, OJT, early release, and work experience with job coaching to name a few. When our first child started high school, we found out that tryouts had already occurred. We were late before the school year had even begun.
Your son or daughter could also graduate early or graduate with a technical skill certification.
As much as we would like our children to advocate for themselves and find out about these things in time, it has not been realistic to expect in my experience. How do you know what to ask about if you don’t even know what it is called?
This year my son is graduating, and we are looking into technical schools. We did not realize how competitive they are to get into. Many programs only have 20 students per class. So, if your son or daughter wants or even may want to attend, you have to apply immediately when application acceptance opens.
For a January start, you have to apply on September 1st. September 1st is not when to get the paperwork prepared, it is when to upload it all and turn it in immediately. August start is even more competitive and may have a registration more than four months ahead.
So, plan to advocate for your child and help them apply and meet deadlines well in advance of what you might think necessary. Transitioning to adult education and life is a long process. Just like applying for college, students can apply, be accepted, and still not attend. So, there is little risk in applying.
The faces down the hall
are freaky, glad or grim
The rolling eyes and tossing heads
That clever, angry grin
That whispering, not too soft
will cause a little cry
as giggles erupt behind my back
and burn behind my eye
Faces, faces everywhere
each has a look for you
Some crusty, pent up feeling shows
that might give you a clue
But really masks are all they are
That's all the faces wear
Painted on, dressed up or fighting
Each one stares, "I Don't Care"
But, the fear behind the faces
is as large as they are weak
The real faces would like to come out
They're just too scared to peek
People are not as they seem. All are walking a difficult road for some reason, even those who appear to have it all together or appear to have it all.