Being Intentional

I waste a lot of time.

For people who know me, this may seem like a surprise as I also get a lot of things done pretty efficiently.

But, the truth is that I spend a lot of time negotiating with myself, distracting myself on Facebook, stressing about small decisions, worrying about what people will think of me, etc.

This time wasted keeps me from what’s really important.  It’s not that I don’t have enough time (this may or may not be true. I really don’t know); it’s that I’m not using my time intentionally and thoughtfully, with focused energy towards the goals and with the people that are most important to me.

I recently returned from the American Educational Research Association Annual Meeting.  I was renewed in my commitment to do the work that I really love, study what’s important to me (no matter who cares about it, confronts me about it, or doesn’t give a hoot about it), and be open in my humanity.

Then I came home, and went back to my old patterns, not taking time to read, write, and reflect.  Instead, I’ve been swayed by the allure of constantly refreshing a Facebook feed that has me struggling with my legitimacy–not raising enough money for my charity run; not being x, y, or z enough as an academic; not having a grandiose party ready for my almost two year old for her birthday; worrying about what people will think if I do post about an issue or how I’ll be judged if I don’t post about an issue.

It is a grandiose waste of time.

I’m not saying that I’ll never be on social media or that I’ll be miraculously efficient with my time and energy, but what I’m saying is that I am aware that, although the arc of my academic career is long and I am just beginning it, there is no time like the present to begin focusing on the work that is truly valuable to me.  And, in my personal life, there is no time like the present to begin focusing and being the most present that I can be to the precious moments I spend with my children, moments that are not guaranteed, moments I cannot take for granted.

So, today, I sat down and began to write what I love about my life, what I’m tired of, what I need to change, what I want, and how I plan to get there. Baby steps perhaps, but important first steps on a greater walk with intentionality.

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