21 December 2008

The best

When I gave up work and returned to my home I promised myself that all the days of multitasking, doing too much in a half-hearted way, and second best were in my past. I decided that I wanted to live deliberately, that the decisions I made would be carried out with care, and from then on, I would do my best, no matter what the task was.

It took a while to get used to that change. I had to slow down and concentrate on what I was doing. I had to focus on one thing at a time and do it to the best of my ability. The pace of my work slowed down and, after a while, so did I. My mind stopped racing and I adopted a slow and mindful approach to everything I did. The strange thing to me was that even though I slowed everything down, I still got my house work done, and I came out the other end of it much more relaxed and pleased with what I achieved. I realised then that putting housework off, or not doing it at all, added to the stress of it. Doing it slowing, one task at a time, gave a rhythm to the day that helped the work flow.

But it wasn't only the housework that I applied this new philosophy to. It was also my relationships with people. I found that when I slowed down and concentrated on the person I was with, it made a difference. When I stopped thinking about what I would do later in the day, or tomorrow, and gave my thoughts as well as my time to the person I was with, I gave more and got a lot more in return. When I gave my best, they gave their best too.

When I started writing this blog I wanted it to be the best. Not the best blog, but the best that I could do. Some days I struggle with what I should write, mainly because I think it's too mundane to be a subject. Some days I use my blog to work out things in my own head - like thinking aloud. Some days the words flow like honey from a honey pot and I have to stop myself for fear of overwhelming you. It's been up and down, but I think I can say that every day I've written here has been the best I could give on that particular day; I have not written half-heartedly.

That has paid off handsomely. I gave my best and got your best in return. Sure, there have been a couple of hiccoughs, but over the year the comments have become a genuine and substantial part of this blog. You give a lot when you comment, it's like a payment for the writing, it not essential but when it happens it rewards me because I know my words are finding you and not just floating out there. That is true of everyone's blog, not just mine.

I am looking forward to Christmas because all my boys will be here, one with his special girl. We are having a family dinner on Christmas Eve with seven of us sitting down to eat, the first time we've all been together for a long, long time. On Christmas morning, we'll all help cook and serve at the free Christmas breakfast I have been organising at work this past month. Last year we served 450 breakfasts, I wonder how many there will be this year. I hope this year will be our best.

This is the last post I'll write for a while because I need to have a break. I'll be enjoying my family, working on my book, watching the cricket, knitting, relaxing and generally getting ready for another good year. A special thank you to Sharon who has been such a help to me throughout the year, both here and at the co-op blog. Thank you for your visits and comments during the year, you have made this blog writing thing a real joy for me. Have a merry Christmas, stay safe and enjoy your holidays. I send you and your family my best.

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