Monday, February 20, 2017

Indecision, Impatience and Joy in the Moment

For weeks I had been having a hard time making up my mind. I never used to have trouble with that. I'd leap into decisions, following my heart, not my head. At some point things changed. I started second guessing myself. Thinking, thinking, thinking instead of listening to my heart.

Last week I finally made a couple decisions.

flowers, bulbs, paperwhites, narcissus, houseplants, Anne Butera, My Giant Strawberry

One of them was cutting my hair. Silly, really. I continually go through the same cycle of growing out my hair and then eventually cutting it only to grow it again (and cut it again). Not a serious decision at all. Not one with lasting ramifications (it always grows back). And I'm glad I did it. I feel lighter and ready for spring now.

I hoped that the other decision would bring just such an immediate change, but it didn't. Although it was my decision, the outcome was out of my hands. I had to wait and wait and wait for an answer (I still won't know for sure until later today). Over the weekend the waiting was driving me batty. I had trouble focusing on any task. I was too distracted to work on my art or the other projects I'd planned for the weekend.

flowers, houseplants, pittosporum, Anne Butera, My Giant Strawberry

And then I realized something. I was wasting time with impatience and distraction when I could have been enjoying the day. The weather was amazing. Sunny, warm, springlike. I had ample time for projects and a sunny studio in which to work on them.

And then I realized something else. Not only had my impatience been undermining my ability to savor the moment, but so had my indecision. Being in my head worrying, thinking about "what ifs", weighing (again and again) pros and cons -- all of that goes against being present in the moment. It keeps me from noticing the beauty and joy of the day.

flowers, houseplants, pittosporum, Anne Butera, My Giant Strawberry

I'm not saying that all decisions should be made flippantly or without any thought, but dwelling on something that I've already considered steals my joy and wastes my time.

Making those realizations helped me to take a time out. I scolded myself and then made a quick mental gratitude list. I stood for a moment soaking up the sunshine. Then I tackled one of my projects. I went for a walk. I made tacos. I enjoyed the rest of the weekend.

Often we don't have control over the situation, but we certainly have control over our reaction to the situation. It's so easy to forget that. To get carried away by emotions or worry.

amaryllis, flowers, houseplants, bulbs, Anne Butera, My Giant Strawberry

Being grateful is a perfect way to pause the worry. Writing a Joy List can always help.

Joy List Monday: 

a weekly ritual
a reminder to stop and pay attention to the little beauties and graces that make life magical and to set aside time for gratitude each day

Are you with me?

Here's my list:

  • more and more flowers showing up on my houseplants
  • a string of sunshiny days and the promise of spring
  • happy dogs
  • having my parents over for tacos
  • thinking about life at this time last year and being grateful for Matthias' recovery
  • a steaming mug of tea
  • rhubarb coffee cake
  • my studio
  • 28 people (so far) who have signed up for the Handmade Joy Exchange (there's still time to join us; I'd love to have you!!)
  • being gentle with myself
  • a slow Sunday filled with laundry, organizing, cooking and little projects
  • taking time -- for reflection, for quiet, for gratitude and for just being in the moment
Wishing you joy and time to savor it.

10 comments:

  1. Some times I can ponder over something for years and other times I can make a decision in the blink of an eye! I had my long hair cut in December. I think I was a bit vague and came home with my hair cut off at chin level! It was so short I couldn't even tie it back. I immediately regretted the decision but now - 2 months on - I wouldn't go back to growing it long again! It looks healthier and is much easier to manage. I won't write my joy list here today but will let you know that there is something that has given me great joy - on my blog today - and I have you to thank for it! :)

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    1. Yes, it's funny how some decisions can take years and others are much easier.

      I'm glad you've grown to like your haircut. I've flip flopped back and forth between long and short (bangs and no bangs...) so many times that it's not so shocking anymore.

      So glad you're working in sketchbooks, now! Hooray!!

      Have a lovely rest of your week!

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  2. Anne, thank you for sharing your feelings, I do agree. Why do we do this to ourselves?
    For me I have some projects I just can not seem to get too, because something always gets in the way. That is what happened with the Love -n- Sharing I shared on my blog. I am in the middle of working on a project, but I have these interruptions. I am happy I did the Love - n - Sharing, I enjoyed sharing joy and love. Yet, at the same time, I did not plan for it to take that much of my time and energy. Somehow I need to learn how to say NO, to manage my time. I planned to be a helper, next I was in CHARGE, needing to create ideas for the day, contacting people and attending meetings.

    Thank you for letting me vent to you.

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    1. Ugh, yes, getting roped into things you don't really want to do can be so frustrating. Sometimes everything works out fine and sometimes I actually enjoy those things that I didn't want to do, but other times things don't go so well or there's still that lingering resentment that I was taken advantage of. It can be so hard to say NO. And sometimes that's just what we need to do!

      I'm glad you were able to vent a bit, Carla. I hope you're having a good week.

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  3. Anne, I was hoping for a photo of you with your new haircut! :)
    I hope whatever you are waiting to hear about comes true today. You are so wise to pull yourself back into the moment! I am a worrier and a fretter, so I understand what you were going through!
    My joy list today includes anticipation for a trip to the west coast Wednesday! Can't wait!

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    1. Hi, Judy. I'm so picky about photos I share of myself. Maybe soon. (And definitely soon of the other bits of joy. :)

      I hope you have a wonderful trip!!

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  4. It's good that you recognized where your thinking was taking you over the weekend, and that you were able to redirect your thoughts to living in the moment. Not many people get that. Chuck Swindoll in his book "Come Before Winter" writes: "Today is tomorrow's yesterday. . .and 'delayed replays' will never occur. Today is memory in the making, a deposit in the bank of time. Let's make it a good one." Congratulations on making memories, Anne. Hugs.

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    1. Thank you, Nancy. It doesn't always work, but being in the moment is something I strive for.I like the idea of "making a deposit in the bank of time".

      Have a wonderful weekend!

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  5. I'm the same with my hair. I'm so glad I chopped mine off. The hairdresser went shorter then what I asked for but it's only hair.

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    1. I miss the hairdresser I used to have. She was so good at listening to my vague ideas and cutting my hair in a way that looked good and would grow out well. And she was amazing at doing highlights. I never found one as good as she was when she left the salon I used to go to. And then I moved far, far away. Nowadays I just cut my own (sometimes with a bit of help from Matthias).

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