I don’t watch a lot of TV, and watch movies even less. I have this crazy tendency to want to do way too many things, and the idea of sitting for two full hours on one task that is not in my “project” Notebook in Evernote seems like a waste of time. The other day, however, watching a movie was more of “spending time with my wife” than actually watching a movie. As we kicked off our shoes, shut down the iPad, and I even put down my current book, Jamie found “It’s About Time” on demand. This is a romantic comedy about a twenty something named Tim who discovers he has the power to travel back in time as himself. While the majority of the story was a build up toward his relationship with the love of his life, another, much more profound message snuck up on us as the movie ended. Tim discovers that even the ability to travel through time can’t fix everything and guarantee a happy and fulfilling life. He ultimately learns to live life of purpose, being intentional to notice the things that are easy to miss; like most of life.
Smelling the roses (Photo credit: Ed.ward)
Earlier in the day, I had been frustrated, even grumpy, that I had been unable to run my typical long run for the week. We slept in and had a packed day of birthday celebrating for our 6-year-old. We brought the kids along with us for a slow-paced two-mile run/walk. In my infinite crankiness, I even murmured to myself a narrative that blamed the kids for my potential future fatness by undoing my years of running routines. The message I discovered from “Its about Time”, reminded me of my single dad “surviving days” when a scene of a mom and dad pushing a jogging stroller along side two boys on scooters with oversized helmets, and a little girl riding a beautiful purple bike was the envious picture of perfection. Here I was, painted into the picture of everything I ever wanted, and I wanted to be somewhere else.
The downside of clarity and the intentional life can be seen in our inability to handle the vast power it gives us.
Like the nearsighted man who discovers prescription glasses for the first time, the scene of clarity is overwhelming at first. Our perspective needs some time to adjust. I currently have 34 live “projects” in action in Evernote. I know, without a doubt, that I will complete everything in those folders within the time frames allotted. The tendency is to feel “driven”, to put our heads down and be happy, even fulfilled with the ability to complete stuff. From remembering to back up my Mac, to writing my book, I will get my stuff done. What about my values and my purpose? If my Evernote Notebook “Values” had a note that said writing my book and back up my computer are my “values”, or even if it said “stuff”, then I would be spot on. This, however, is not the case. My values, embraced in my Family Mission Statement center on Faith, Family Togetherness, Education, and Healthy Living. All is not lost. As I recently wrote, awareness is such a great gift. Seeing our path twisting and winding is an opportunity to right the curves and even learn as we grow through the recovery.
While projects, stuff, and even people come and go, your values remain relatively constant (especially after having kids).
Be intentional about defining values and writing them down. Anchor yourself to your values. You’ll have the confidence to find your way back to your purpose if and when you go astray. It’s About Time, shook me from my “life hypnosis”. It certainly was “about time” I realized that picture perfect painting of family was only perfect because it was commissioned by my values and had me colored into the heart of it.
How will you intentionally “stop to smell the roses”? Do something intentionally today and tomorrow.