Yes you are, but reading that how do you feel? I love this and it couldn’t have popped up at a more relevant time for me. Yesterday I took the ‘day off’ to accompany my daughter to her school swimming carnival. Of course, I had at least 48 other things I coulda, woulda, shoulda been doing but as she is 9, and explicitly asked me to go with her I figured my invites are going to be ever decreasing as she discovers the embaressment that parents seem to bring as they age.
Let me say I had a feeling too. My daughter is one of the most determined girls I know. Honestly I love this about her. She decides she will do something and there is no holds barred, she goes for it, all in. Anyway, she had been extremely excited for days and kept telling me she was going to win some ribbons at this carnival. She asked me to go but I had work plans and a training ride I wanted to do that day so originally thought I couldn’t attend.
The morning swung around and I heard her voice in the dark explain to her daddy that she had to go to the toilet but didn’t turn the light on as she didn’t want to the light to wake her up. She needed to get back to sleep so she had energy for her carnival tomorrow. No sooner had she left the room but my alarm went off signalling the beginning of my long list of what I wanted to do that day. But I considered her words, thought of her little face, her excitement and wondered how many more carnivals I would get begged to go to. How much longer would she want me around. So I got up, put the kettle on, tucked her in and hit some of the work I had planned for that day at 5.15am.
We went to the carnival and she loved having me there. I watched her come second in the heats of freestyle, back and breaststroke. I got to see her little face when she touched the wall and hug her when she got out. I talked her through some strategy for the finals and when the time came screamed her name till my voice was hoarse. My little determined girl claimed first place in the final. We were both absolutely thrilled. I was proud as punch, she set her sights on something and went for it – boom!
I fucking love that kid. She amazes me. My heart has a physical solid feeling when I write that. Its tangible.
Anyway, the point is my day was not ‘productive’ as per the definition so many of us define our lives by. I missed my training ride that I had planned for two weeks prior, I made no headway in my studies, there were no business updates or progress as planned. But my daughter and I had a solid day. We made wonderful memories and I am so grateful. I will never forget that little face when she realised she won. Her eyes when I was giving her some tips, taking it all in. Her overflowing joy and self-assuredness as she trotted off to the marshalling area. Giving the winner a high five before she even got out of the pool. Her rallying her friends, giving and receiving support and congratulations. Her nerves as she approached the finals. I’ll take that over productivity any day.
Productivity is great, especially if you have a goal in mind. Productivity gives direction and measures your performance which can provide a great sense of achievement. This is all positive and most people feel a productive life is a satisfying one I get that. If some of this productivity is balanced with some down time and “lets throw plans to the wind” time it’s all good. I wholeheartedly believe it’s the non-productive times in your life that will be your favourite memories. These times will be what makes you smile, laugh and feel loved when you reflect on your life.