“If you rest, you rust.”–Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr

“If you rest, you rust.”–Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr

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.


DarEll S. Hoskisson


Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com



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.  

DSH  12/06
Preparing a child for High School or for Technical College?

Preparing a child for High School or for Technical College?

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.

I’m wishing you luck.



What are the longings of your soul?

Last night at book club, we were discussing a book by Sue Monk Kidd, The Book of Longings. This book seems to polarize people. You either really love it or hate it. How wonderful to be with a group that can handle openly such diverse opinions and reactions and emotion without taking it personally or disagreeing. It leaves you free to be real–to see and be seen. To explore deep places. To challenge your own thinking in ways that are interesting and potentially helpful.

“It isn’t the largeness in you that matters most. It is the passion to bring it forth.”

–Sue Monk Kidd

What do you think matters most? What is within you pressing outward with consistent, pulsing desire–your art, your voice that is waiting to be born, develop, or fruit?

Our frustrations that last for years are nearly just as telling.

Our constant attractions and interests.

Our personal quests.

Decisions, decisions – Walk north, south or west – Swim east! by Richard Humphrey is licensed under CC-BY-SA 2.0

One of my personal quests is to understand myself so that I can choose well. I am absolutely passionate about living my life well as an expression of gratitude for the greatest gift God has given me. Does the best way to live include spending years researching the best way to live? It makes me laugh that in the very pursuit of this, I may be doing it “wrong.” But, I can not help it. I love these deep questions about life–the core of life–the questions of philosophers and believers throughout millennia of ages past. This is one of my endless attractions.

What I find in reality, rather than having some great knowledge of what is wise and best, is that I do what seems best to me and then retroactively learn from it and see what my feelings and beliefs are that reveal themselves in my actions. In some way I believe our choices reveal those beliefs that we are not aware of. This type of personal exploration and mining is also fascinating to me. So yes, by golly, I like to chase my own tail.

Today I am chasing the nuanced truth of what I choose socially and why. I explained that I am a “foul weather friend” and I am. I want to be there for my friends at their deepest, darkest night so that they are not alone. I want to be there so I can actually do something that would be helpful and meaningful. I said, “If life is good, send me a text. I will cheer for you.” It didn’t sit right with me. I also love to cheer for people. I love to be there for the top moments as well–the victories, celebrations, milestones, etc. of life.

So, what is the truth? Trying to narrow this down, I thought, well, I just don’t like the middle. The chit chat in the middle. The mundane and repetitive and surface talk is tiring to me. But, then I realized that that is also not the case. I do like talking about nothings and the normal, routine, frustrations and joys of life in certain circumstances. I love to do that while I’m doing something else. I like to work together while talking, fold clothes while talking, walk and get exercise while talking, supervise children playing while talking, etc. I multi-purpose while talking about things that are not emotionally intense and require my whole focus. This is a very strong preference to the point that I do not like sitting still and talking about surface level things. They do not take my full attention, and my attention is my scarcest, most coveted commodity. For this reason large, long parties are not my thing. Can you imagine if I showed up at a party with my mending? On the other hand, maybe that is a great idea. I might love it.

Ironically, I have historically been terrible at guarding my personal attention. I think that is because someone is in crisis at any moment, and I want to be there. I am interested in people and feel their needs are more pressing than personal time alone with my book or pen.

Imagine loving being the Good Samaritan in your heart and never getting to your destination. Maybe even losing or never finding your destination because you are so busy stopping to carry someone to the inn, and there isn’t just one person on your way who needs to get there, but rather an endless supply of real people with real needs. Plus, your destination is to be that person who takes them to the inn– so in a way, you are already there.

My destination is not a location, it is expressed in who I am. This is interesting and incredibly risky. What if, like the two who passed by, I need to limit my involvement in the humanity around me so that I can get somewhere and do something else of my own? What if I do have a personal destination or magnum opus or swan song that only I can give the world? How in the world can or should I choose who and what to ignore to make that space for me–just me? And, that doesn’t even work because even when I am alone or studying or writing, I don’t do it in a vacuum just for myself. I hope it will be useful to myself and others in some way.

I ran my life much like an ER room for many years. I kept my schedule flexible so I was available to show love. I would prioritize the most urgent needs. The needs of a stranger might trump the needs of my family in urgency. This matches my values that each person is a child of God and equally valuable. But, in practice, I would often rush about taking a meal to someone and come home to my family without one or run in to other time management problems because with my imaginative thinking I really thought I could get everything done in a day because I wanted to–hopelessly optimistic until I would collapse at the end of the day and cry about whatever was at the end and mattered but didn’t get done.

I am much less reactive now. I realize that there are other, less frenetic ways to show love and that of necessity, duty, and love, my family and my health have to be prioritized so I can do the other.

So, then maybe Nanny McPhee’s philosophy is more accurate for me. “When you don’t want me but need me, I will be there. When you don’t need me but want me, I will go away.” This is not a direct quote, but rather, how I remember it. This is absolutely true for me in many ways. I am most fully there when needed. This is one reason I am leaving my job. I love “being with” my student, but she no longer needs me. She can fly now, and I need time to fly, too. My son’s needs are pressing, and I must be there for him in these last critical years at home–my last months of mothering (not that it ever stops, but the duty changes).

How do you judge where your time and attention are best spent?

How do you choose which interests to pursue and which to sacrifice so the few can flourish?

I don’t know the answers to these questions, necessarily, but they fascinate me.

There is a time limit on this life. There is urgency to the matter–what to choose, what to sacrifice or ignore. I love this, and it is so frustrating. I might be in my cave trying to crack this conundrum until the day I die. So, go ahead and invite me to your parties. I do love to celebrate. However, I might not come, or perhaps worse, I’ll bring my laundry.

Photo by Gratisography on Pexels.com


PS: I really disliked the book and did not finish it. However, I may read some of her other books to see what I think. I did enjoy her style of writing and some of the questions and thoughts it ignited.

Step 1: Schedule a Time

Like anything, preparing takes some time and thought.  Start today by looking at your schedule and deciding on a time you will be able to prioritize your emergency preparedness.  If you have no preference, choose Monday morning or Monday evening.  (I’ve found that if you want something done, Monday is a winner).  Do not become overwhelmed.  It does not even require an hour.  Plan at least 20 minutes to do SOMETHING each week on your preparedness.  Even if you only think about it, those thoughts will eventually lead to action. 

If you are too busy one week, just come back to it.  Don’t let an immediate need go neglected because of your plan, but don’t let your plan always be neglected, either.   Just keep coming back to it.  If you do your plan even 80% of the time you will move mountains a teaspoon at a time.  But, if you find it is almost never happening, reschedule:  pick a different day or decide on which activities you can and will sacrifice to make this path of peace a priority.    


English: Circus tent A circus visits Pittencri...

English: Circus tent A circus visits Pittencrieff Park nearly every year. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

My life has been a circus tent.

I’m learning how to juggle.

I set up a great big show.

No crowd could burst my bubble.

I’d spin a plate.  I’d throw a ball.

I’d run about, AMAZE!

I had the happy crowd abuzz

with each new feat

on stage.

But, it got harder

and harder to impress.

So many balls and plates

an inevitable mess.

Until balance seemed an impossible circus trick,

and I needed a real-life balancing act.

So, I asked the Ring-leader how it could all be done

and He a-light and full of fun

surprisingly replied,

“just spin one plate.”

© 2007 DarEll S. Hoskisson

A Lady

 With a feline grace,

she walks along the fence

and royally refuses

to give up in any sense.


She’s creative

and won’t allow

problems or surprises

to cause a cow.


She is patient.

Her pace is fine.

She’s at peace

with her friend, Time.


An excellent example of

realistic expectations,

she encourages me to

flow with the changes


that inevitably are part

of life to be expected

and while never giving up

still need to be accepted.


She teaches me by example

how to royally hold my chin,

accept life as it comes,

but never to give in!

© 2013 DarEll S. Hoskisson (dsh)

Recipe for healthy wants and also wants: an answer to hyperfocus

First get them in a single file line, a list works well,

then eliminate or delegate all I can not do

then set up a schedule

and let each one cycle through.

Now no want will go hungry

if it’s worth it’s place in line.

Remembering what I also want

satisfies me every time.

© 2013 DarEll S. Hoskisson (dsh)

Scheduling is nothing new.  But, scheduling what I WANT was for me a big discovery.  I used to only schedule what I HAD to do and usually did NOT want to do.  Scheduling only what I have to do but don’t want to gave it a bad kind of aftertaste.

A schedule?  Something to be avoided!

I now schedule time for what I need and want and time for what my family needs and wants from me.  This seems to calm the demanding, screaming  of neglected needs I used to feel after every time I was busy for an extended period of time.

Stong focus is a strength and a weakness for me.  I can stay focused for a very long time, driven to the end.  But, I don’t feel hunger, thirst, bathroom needs, I don’t hear people talking around me and anyone needing something is really a bother that I push away.  If I had to get interupted, beware the wrath of train wreck!!  I was like a train going down hill.  Get on board or get out of the way!  But when I’m finished, all these needs come crying out to my awareness.

I had to give up my hyperfocus to be an attentive mom.  Now that my kids are older, I’m trying to reintegrate that power of attention.  I love working in the flow where time does not exist.  But, I’m trying to do it in a way that does not punish my body and family so much.

So far WHEN I keep to my schedule it is working very well.  I have to STOP which is often painful for me.  But, it is getting easier as I remember what I ALSO WANT and try to keep it from getting eaten alive by whatever I happen to be doing right now.

In fact, I want to write this, but I ALSO WANT my family to have dinner tonight.  So, as hard as it is to stop typing on this very interesting subject (I mean who doesn’t want EVERYTHING they want?)  It is easier to stop because I remember, I want and need to feed my family.

Love to all!  DarEll

To List or not to List, That is the Question

I am a big picture thinking, detail disliking, list maker.

I make a list for everything so I don’t have to remember anything

So my brain can be free to wonder and seek

out answers to my questions.

I’ve listed for so long,

I never realized that my list was part of my problem.

I hated writing down

get dressed

over and over

or make dinner.

But write it, I did, because I really might forget .

I’m something like the absent-minded professor that way.

This was, however, counterproductive.

Because once my list gets over 5 things long,

My list starts to stress and bother me–

a self-created monster,

task-master, and

guilt tripper.


My most recent success has been to make new rules of what will and will not be allowed on my list:

1–A permanent list of routine items are posted in two places.  These are the core must dos–most of them so mundane no one should have to write them and in fact, I sometimes wonder, why we must do them.  But, I tried not doing them and Yes, we really must do them.  So, there they are.

2–A rocks of the day list.  This is a list of 1 to 3 items per day that are the most important tasks that I WANT to do that will have the most impact if I do them.  OOH, not so hard to list.  These I schedule with a time attached into my day.  Now we are going someplace.  I found out through experience that most of my day is already spoken for.  One to three rocks is all I can reasonably hope to fit in.  And, they are so few, I might actually remember them.

3–What NOT to list:  I do not list my routine must dos.

I also realized I do not need to list anything visually reminding.  Like the mold in the shower will remind me to take care of that, or the bathroom light not working . . . you get the idea.  I am reasonably certain that even I will not forget or be allowed to forget these things.

I also do not need to list anything that is scheduled in with an appointment time.  This may be a rock of the day, but it doesn’t need to go on my list.

I don’t need to list all the awesome things I’d like to do or could do or might do.  All these glorious ideas can be kept on a could do list somewhere else for when I have room in my rock basket for the day to throw one in.  But, left on my regular list they just cry for attention or they whine because I never got to them.   I have decided I definitely don’t need to keep making my imagination list so big that it beats me up regularly in reality.

4–If it has a deadline, I schedule it in reverse and add about twice as much time (in case of emergency).  Real life continually teaches me to aim for early (partly because everything in real life takes 2-4 times as long as I imagine it will).  This will get it off my calendar and into my day in time to do it easily–I hope.

5–So the only list I have left that I make and look at everyday is on a tiny notebook.  I only write on it the things that can be done anytime, are hard to prioritize, need to be done, don’t take long to do (if it takes long I need to calendar it out like a project see #4) and I will forget–no visual or intrinsic reminder.  But, they can be done WHENEVER.  I call this little notebook my whenever book and whenever I have a small block of time, I can easily fill it and check one of these babies off.  Then, whenever I get one page done, I get a glorious reward.  I get to throw the page away!  And, I never have to see a very long list.  So I don’t get bogged down.

And, I ultimately get exactly the result I wanted.  I get to not worry.

There is always enough time for the most important things.

© 2012 DarEll S. Hoskisson (dsh)