Learning to Be Choosy

This has been a long week. Not bad, just long. Frank’s working on the tax extension deadline; Bea’s teachers are at a conference for the week so she’s home; we’ve had our sweetest sweet moments and our lowest frustrations.

One of the most difficult things about finding energy though learning is that learning takes energy. It’s more work to read nonfiction or even to read, for that matter. There are nights – mostly when Frank is working late – when I want to mindlessly watch a show.

But that’s not what energizes me. It’s a hard balance to achieve: Making time in the margins for thinking and learning and making time for rest.

We were talking at my MOPS group this week about quiet and rest and wondered if it means different things for different people. For some, laying down for 20 minutes is the rest that refreshes for the rest of the day. For others, taking a walk or going for a run all alone is what rejuvenates them. We all agreed that we need a certain amount of quiet – time to think, to breathe, to not care for anyone but ourselves.

It’s easy to say that it’s important to practice self-care. When I think about my day, if everything goes perfectly and according to plan (ha!!) then I can find a few minutes here and there for rest and reading. But when does that happen?

I need to remember that life not going according to plan is certainly not a kid thing. The other night, Frank came home early in the height of busyness and working late because of a huge IT problem that couldn’t be looked at until morning. Hopefully it’s an easy fix. Who knows what will happen if it’s not… Life doesn’t go perfectly for any of us. That’s life.

So, in the meantime, what do I do? For now, it means being choosy about what I read. Someone asked if I abandon a book that just doesn’t fit with what I’d like to learn. Years ago, the answer would have been no. I would have powered though, hoping for a nugget to takeaway. These days, I’m learning that time is limited and energy levels are even more so. I need to keep my mind active, to learn new things, but I also need to know those things will be beneficial. So, I’m choosy with my material.

It also means recognizing how I can best absorb information. I signed up for Skillshare earlier this year and loved the idea. But, I never found time to do it. Nap times would shift or I’d need to do something else. It just wasn’t realistic for this stage. As much as I enjoy listening to podcasts, it’s the same. Bea dictates what we listen to in the car and any time I try putting one on while making dinner, things are bound to go downhill, fast.

Perhaps one day, I’ll be able to take more risks with how I learn and what I can choose. But for now, I’m recognizing that to fulfill that need, I also need to have a high success rate.

How do you best learn – books, audio, video? When do you find time to recharge?

livin

This post is Day 15 of the Write 31 Day Challenge. I’m spending the month of October writing about the StrengthsFinder test. You can find the entire series over at Live Your Strengths page.

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9 thoughts on “Learning to Be Choosy

  1. Annie, you are doing amazing. Take it from someone further down the road. The way you process and make challenges for yourself in this season of your life is so interesting that you have captured my attention. Be choosy, yes, go ahead. There is a world of thinking going on in your head and all that will come to good use in the future, even if you cant explore it today.

  2. I’m an auditory learner. I need to be able to listen and process. It was a seminary professor who realized this about me and helped me pass a class I was struggling with. We would record our conversations, I’d go back and listen, make my questions and then he’d answer my questions at the next class.

  3. I’d say that I’m very choosy with what I read, and like you, if it doesn’t speak to what I want to learn in that moment, I don’t press through!
    I learn best through reading and its totally what I use to take care of myself.
    I TRY to find time to recharge if I get up before my husband does. The kids, they’re old enough for me to tell them that momma needs a few minutes of quiet and they’ll busy themselves (it hasn’t always been that way)

    1. I know I shouldn’t wish the seasons away, but I’m kinda looking forward to the day when I’m able to better anticipate when I can find time to myself. Right now, our schedules are still shifting… Thanks for stopping by!

  4. This is so the season I’m in right now! We too are working on taxes with my husbands business and I try to balance my corporate job with raising my adorable and demanding 2 year old. I still have dreams and goals and I’m so exhausted. This was so very timely.

    1. Oh, I’m so glad it was timely! That balance is tough – no matter how much or little you work or don’t, it always seems like a complex dance. Even if they’re on the back burner for now, those dreams are still fun, aren’t they?

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