September 2, 2015

To Do or to Be...

That is the question!

I saw an interesting video yesterday that my daughter posted on Facebook. It pictured an older woman and a caption that read: If I had my life to do over, I'd spend less time doing and more time being. Sadly, the benefit of that wisdom becomes clear, often, only after we've almost worn ourselves out trying to figure it out. 

Even if you win the rat race, you're still a rat!

As you can see by the erratic nature of my posting schedule, I've figured it out. I want to blog - not be a blogger. There are other things I want to be. I want to be a grandmother who spends time with her grand kids, a gardener who's at peace in her garden - no matter it's state of completion. I want to be a poet - a writer who writes about what's meaningful to me. Things I want to remember. I want to be friend who has time to be there at just the right moment and an eternal student of life who learns something every day then gleans the best pearls and shares them here with you - just in case you miss them in the frenzied pace of doing.

Don't think for a moment I'm preaching - I too have done!  I've done and done until I'm done. It took years to realize that there are some things that we chase that just can not be caught. Laundry is a great example. I remember the day that this realization distilled upon me just as I was folding the last washcloth. I breathed deeply and exclaimed a glorified sigh and marveling at my accomplishment. Every article of clothing in the entire house was finally clean. Then I remembered I was wearing clothes, that as soon as  they were removed, would become laundry. As if that wasn't disheartening enough, I recalled that I shared a home with 7 other people who were doing the same thing! Laundry is never done.

In a recent post, I went into great detail about a complete meltdown I had over weeds that had the nerve to regrow. Gardening is never done. The list of the unfinishable - yes that's a word - (now) could circle the globe so many times that it would block out sunlight and yet we continue to chase them like we can grab them by the tail.

Relationships are also things that are never finished. Even the ones that end echo either sweet melodies or discordant refrains that reverberate around us as we search to find new ones.

There is so much we could do. So much we should do! (Just ask your mom!) But, if we chase haphazardly down all the roads of "doing" we may just miss the "being" completely.

"Being" is what it's all about! Even our greatest accomplishments are wasted time if they haven't made us be something. Happy. Enlightened. Content. Proud. Peaceful. Something! 

I'm an ever evolving spirit who wants to be without perimeters - and so are you. I've reached the age where I've finally broken through the walls that kept me caged in the deep, dark, shoulds. It turns out they was made of fear. I was afraid that without all the doing, there would be no me. How astounding to find that the opposite is true.

In the midst of a busy life, don't forget to live. 
- Marty Rubin

There are so many wonderful things to be! In love for instance. At peace. Tranquil. Satisfied. Complete. Kind. Grateful. Patient. Genuine. Honest. Take your pick! There are plenty of options. There's just one catch! Finding one that fits requires that you stop doing long enough to try on a few.

How about you? Is all of your doing helping you to be something that's meaningful to you? If not - why not?


  1. Anita, I’m thinking the ratio of time we spend ‘being’ versus ‘doing’ changes throughout our life in proportion to the type and amount of energy that we have. Both are important – it’s finding the balance that is right for each of us, at any given moment. But is it amazing how the ‘doing’ has a habit of taking over. Thanks Anita for reminding us of the importance of ‘being’. I for one have been working toward a more ‘being’ lifestyle for some time - it’s still very much a work in progress.

    1. I agree Kate. When my six children were young, doing was being! It was a constant stream of activity and I was BEING a mom - still my favorite thing to be. The definition of balance is also a moving target. Thanks for reading and especially for adding your insight to the topic!

  2. I enjoyed this post. As I've gotten older, and live in another country, I realize the importance of both. I "do" things that will make me a better person. I "do" things that I enjoy. I "do" things that inspire and appreciate.

    I also am "being" a loving wife, "being" in love, "being" with nature, "being" a good person..

    I understand where you're coming from though. I think we get so busy with doing "stuff" that the stuff we're doing doesn't have much meaning. We become mechanical and the every day beauty and gifts we receive are some times overlooked.

    Thanks for sharing.

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  3. You caught exactly what I meant Denise. Some of the things we DO come about as a result of who we're BEING and those things enrich our lives and the lives of others. It's the tedious, inconsequential things we somehow come to believe are important when they aren't that rob us of the opportunity to BE more of who we really are. Thanks for reading and sharing your thoughts! I envy you the new experiences that living in a different country would bring. You seem to be making the most of the adventure!