Tag Archives: quotes

The uncomfortable wait of living in the future

Time is tricky in motherhood. Hours and days crawl by, while weeks and months fly. We focus on the things we’re looking forward to—kindergarten, babysitting age, the last one to kindergarten—so much that it’s sometimes hard to appreciate the now. We start to get dissatisfied with our lives now until we aches.

And sometimes, that’s not a bad thing. I came across an article called “The tension of the already, but the not yet” that points out that this longing is good when it prompts us for growth:

Maybe this tension is a perfect place? Not because we love being there, but because it’s the beginning of the end of our striving? Maybe this is when we realize that it’s not about us? That ultimately, we’re just part of a greater story that takes time to be written and revealed and at the point of these questions, we don’t know the full story yet.

This reminds me of something I’ve heard about writing. (Sorry, this is so generic that I’m blanking on who said this. Someone who knew what he was talking about.) An experienced writer argues that when we begin writing, we get very discouraged, and consider our writing terrible. And it probably is—and it’s a good thing.

It’s a good thing that we can see the difference between where we are now and where we want to be. We’re comparing our writing to published authors’—people in another stage of their journey, who have more experience and help than we probably do—and we naturally come up short.

But, this writer cautions, don’t let that stop you from writing. Push through this uncomfortable phase, writing and practicing more and more—learning more about and actually becoming what you want to be—until that feeling of being terrible passes. Change your circumstances, and change your attitude—and improve. That feeling keeps us working to get better.

We can’t make time go faster so we can enjoy the next phase sooner (and let’s be honest, we’ll probably still be looking forward to the next stage then), but we can channel this tension, this cognitive dissonance into looking at our lives now to see how we can enjoy them more—and what we may need to change to value and enjoy the present more now.

What do you think? How can you value and enjoy the present more now?

Photo by Joe Philipson

How does this post make you feel?
  • Encouraged (0)
  • Fulfilled (0)
  • Informed (0)
  • Smart (0)
  • Entertained (0)
  • Amused (0)

Being and becoming

Practice makes perfect, they say. I believe the best way to become something is to just do it. I want to become more patient, and really, the only way to become patient is to practice being patient.

Esse quam videri = to be rather than to seem

It might seem hard—heck, it might be hard!—and we might want to wait until wishing makes it so, but until we actually start doing, we won’t make progress toward becoming our goal.

This is summed up much better in a friend’s blog post last week:

“We become what we want to be by consistently being what we want to become each day.” (Elder Richard G. Scott, October 2010 General Conference)

I see it every time I step out of the shower and I think, “I want to become a better mother. So today I will be a better mother.” But my thought process doesn’t really go beyond that. . . .

But a few days ago, I believed I received a bit of inspiration as I took an extra moment to ponder how to become a better mother.

Two specific things came to mind. 1) Enforce consequences. 2) Play with my children.

via Trying a little harder to be a little better.

I think those are great examples—and both of those are things I could work on, which are hard for me.

I’d write some more about them, but I think I should probably go join my kids in play time.

What do you think? What do you want to become, and what do you need to do to become your goals?

Photo by Haeck Design

How does this post make you feel?
  • Encouraged (0)
  • Fulfilled (0)
  • Informed (0)
  • Smart (0)
  • Entertained (0)
  • Amused (0)

A contributing member of society

gilbert_keith_chesterton2We’re often told raising our children isn’t enough: we should be “productive.” We should have “real jobs.” Strangers ask us to justify raising our children when we’ve obtained higher learning. We should “contribute to society.” I promised you a rant on how nothing contributes more to society than raising children will, but lovely guest blogger G.K. Chesterton (at right) has taken that up for me.

He was way ahead of his time, you know. I mean, the man died seventy years ago, and he had the foresight to write this post for me. Okay, okay, so really this is just a long quotation. Emphasis, images and paragraphs breaks added.

Woman is generally shut up in a house with a human being at the time when he asks all the questions that there are, and some that there aren’t. It would be odd if she retained any of the narrowness of a specialist.

Now if anyone says that this duty of general enlightenment (even when freed from modern rules and hours, and exercised more spontaneously by a more protected person) is in itself too exacting and oppressive, I can understand the view. I can only answer that our race has thought it worth while to cast this burden on women in order to keep common-sense in the world.

But when people begin to talk about this domestic duty as not merely difficult but trivial and dreary, I simply give up the question. To be Queen Elizabeth within a definite area, deciding sales, banquets, labors and holidays; to be Whiteley within a certain area, teaching morals, manners, theology, and hygiene; I can understand how this might exhaust the mind, but I cannot imagine how it could narrow it.

globeHow can it be a large career to tell other people’s children about the Rule of Three, and a small career to tell one’s own children about the Universe? How can it be broad to be the same thing to everyone, and narrow to be everything to someone? No; a woman’s function is laborious, because it is gigantic, not because it is minute.

G. K. Chesterton, What’s Wrong with the World, p 118-119

Thanks, G.K.! (Note that this is taken slightly out of context, but seriously, it’s a lot better this way. Don’t bother reading the stuff that comes before or after it; it’s not quite so “enlightened.”)

In other news, I’d like to note that I was one of five winners of literary agent Nathan Bransford’s guest blogging contest, and my guest post will go live on his blog next week 😀 .

Photo credits: question mark—Svilen Mushkatov; globe—Sanja Gjenero

Life as a juggler

carol_bartzCarol Bartz is a busy woman. She’s a CEO (again), a breast cancer survivor, a community volunteer—and, oh yeah, a mom. While her children are now grown, she’s had all these balls in the air at the same time,

Five years ago, when she still had children at home, Business Week interviewed her. Toward the end of their article, they highlighted her commitment to family:

Bartz showed up for a board meeting one night with a hugely swollen leg. Turns out, she had rushed from work to her daughter’s soccer game and slipped, twisting her ankle. She hobbled to the game, then limped to the board meeting. Because the . . . freezer had no ice, she ended up sitting with a bag of frozen peas on her foot. But she carried on as usual, Nierenberg says. . . .

Bartz encourages her employees to have a life outside of work as well. Autodesk’s staffers can receive several hours off a month to help out at their children’s schools. A few weeks ago, Bartz taught 60 or so of her employees’ kids, who showed up for the company’s bring-your-kids-to-work day, how to execute a real business handshake (hand should not be limp, look the person in the eye).

How does Carol Bartz juggle all these roles? The interview hinted at that as well—but I think the two biggest keys are perspective and priorities.

First, she placed her family as her highest priority:

Ever since her daughter, who’s now 15, was in elementary school, Bartz would sit down with her at the beginning of each school year and promise to come to certain school events — say, a Christmas concert or the Halloween party. “I don’t care if the Pope comes to Autodesk, I’m still going to spend that time with her,” she says. Recently, she canceled a business dinner to attend her daughter’s first prom.

juggle_ballsSecond, Carol recognized that she wasn’t going to be perfect:

I have a belief that life isn’t about balance, because balance is perfection. Rather, it’s about catching the ball before it hits the floor.

I may not be a CEO, or even employed outside the home, but I take encouragement from that counsel. And you know what? Sometimes even the best jugglers drop the balls. What do they do? They pick them up and keep practicing.

How have you caught the ball before it hit the floor? How have you continued after dropping the ball?

Photo credit: juggle balls—Dani Simmonds

How does this post make you feel?
  • Encouraged (0)
  • Fulfilled (0)
  • Informed (0)
  • Smart (0)
  • Entertained (0)
  • Amused (0)

Maria Shriver on motherhood

Maria Shriver is a journalist and the First Lady of California. When she appeared on the Oprah show in 2004, she made an observation that I totally agree with:

How do we get women to stop saying, “I’m just a mother”? Or, “I used to be such and such, but now I’m just a mother?” We need to market motherhood. So I came up with a saying: “Motherhood: 24/7 on the frontlines of humanity. Are you man enough to try it?”

We’ve discussed this quote before and most of you felt that we needed to start by taking more pride in what we do as mothers and not allowing others to disparage or belittle it.

Do you still agree with that? What else can we do to stand up for ourselves and our callings?

Do you have a quote from a famous mom? Submit it to famousmoms (at) mamablogga.com and we’ll discuss it one week, and you’ll get a link (if you include your URL, of course).

How does this post make you feel?
  • Encouraged (0)
  • Fulfilled (0)
  • Informed (0)
  • Smart (0)
  • Entertained (0)
  • Amused (0)

Angelina Jolie on motherhood

In case you haven’t seen celebrity gossip over the last few years, I’ll just tell you: Angelina Jolie has a bunch of kids, and she’s supposed to have a couple more pretty soon here.

A little over a year ago, Jolie was interviewed by Reader’s Digest, and I found this quotation on receiving support from her partner, Brad Pitt (you’ve heard of him?):

He encourages the right things. If I’ve had a full day and just really been a hands-on mom, he’ll make a point to let me know that’s something he’s proud of. If I’m writing an Op-Ed, he’s the first person to want to read the drafts. I could be dressed up in the sexiest outfit for a photo shoot, and by his behavior, he’ll let me know that’s nice, but it’s nothing as sexy as when I’m home surrounded by the kids or reading books, educating myself. He slows me down to kind of get it right, to relax into the strength of my family and the love.

I like the support that she describes here, but most of all, I think it’s really important for us to “slow . . . down to . . . get it right, to relax into” our families and our love. What helps you to slow down?

Do you have a quote from a famous mom? Submit it to famousmoms (at) mamablogga.com and we’ll discuss it one week, and you’ll get a link (if you include your URL, of course).

How does this post make you feel?
  • Encouraged (0)
  • Fulfilled (0)
  • Informed (0)
  • Smart (0)
  • Entertained (0)
  • Amused (0)