time management

The To-Do List

man-writing-in-journal

Claire: “Papi you wanna play wit me?”

Me: “Not right now baby. We have to go to the grocery store, Costco, get gas, and pick up     mommy’s medicine. Not to mention finish the laundry.”

Claire: “Just 2 minutes Papi?”

Me: “Maybe later. If we have time.”
I find that the above interaction with my daughter is becoming more than just an occasional exchange. One day its groceries, another is picking up my gun from the gunsmith, another day it’s a Home Depot trip for lumber and a saw blade. There is always something going on that needs doing. Our family is busy, but so is every other family. As I re-read the conversation above it makes me angry, angry that I would dare say to my daughter that I don’t have 2 minutes for her. I spend more time updating my calorie counter app.

Claire turns 3 on Easter Sunday and I am finding that my little girl is growing up too fast. In the whirlwind of our busy lives there is this glorious gift we call Claire that repeatedly calls me to step outside of the business. To be childlike and enjoy these precious moments that are so quickly passing us by.

“2 minutes Papi.” But there is so much to do. “2 minutes papi.” I haven’t made dinner yet. “2 minutes papi.” I’m too tired baby. “2 minutes papi.” Baby, it has to get done.

It does have to get done. I am tired. Dinner needs to be made. There is so much to do. But my daughter is growing so fast…

I find that days go by and items are checked off my to-do list, yet the reason why I do those things (my family) seems to get the back burner. The to-do list gets things done so that my family is happier, yet it is keeping me from experiencing that happiness with them. The moments when I am playing with Claire I find that in the back of my mind the to-do list pops its head in, telling me there are things that need to be done for the family.

I don’t know if anyone else feels this way.

Maybe I’m ridiculous in my expectations. Maybe this is the way it is and I have to deal with it. Yet, Claire’s voice calls out to me. To enjoy the moments while they are still available.

“2 minutes Papi”.

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Categories: being too busy, blessings, Catholic, distractions, enjoying the moment, fatherhood, fathers, growing up, home and family, living in the moment, Parenting, time management, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Now: the duty of the moment.

now_watchRight now you are reading this blog that I wrote a few days ago. Right now you are processing this sentence. That moment has passed and you are now left with this moment. Have you ever realized that ‘now’ is all we really have? The past is gone; the future is ahead of us. All we have is this moment. Now.

I don’t know about you but I find myself thinking a lot about the things I did in the past. “I shouldn’t have said that”, “I wish I had done that differently”, “I really should have…” I also tend to think about all that I have to do, the things to come. “I have to get that talk put together by next Saturday”, “I really need to clean the gutters”, etc. Yet the past is gone and I can’t go back to it, and the future is ahead of me and I can’t get to it. Once the future is here—now—will I be looking ahead to other future events or will I contemplate on it as a past event?

Catherine de Hueck Doherty was a very wise and holy woman who had a phrase that has always stuck with me: The duty of the moment. Catherine referred to the duty of the moment as the now that we must focus on and give 100% of ourselves to. The now that is our duty and all that we have in that moment.

This is a quote from a talk she gave to a Catholic group on the matter,

“The duty of the moment is what you should be doing at any given time, in whatever place God has put you. If you have a child, your duty of the moment may be to change a dirty diaper. So you do it. But you don’t just change that diaper, you change it to the best of your ability, with great love for both God and that child…There are all kinds of good Catholic things you can do, but whatever they are, you have to realize that there is always the duty of the moment to be done. And it must be done, because the duty of the moment is the duty of God.”

We cannot forget the past because it is ours, but we cannot live in it. We cannot ignore the future because it potentially will be ours to live in, but it isn’t here yet. Now is all that we have. This moment. What ever lies before you right now is your “duty of the moment”.  It is the thing that you should give all of your energy, love and focus to. It is the thing that you have been tasked with and should be your priority.

The now that I have with my family is more important than the past or the future because the now is real, is here, it is tangible and in front of me.

May we all focus on the “duty of the moment.” May we all be present to our families, today, now.

Categories: enjoying the moment, fatherhood, fathers, focus, living in the moment, Parenting, time management, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

The 45 Minute Cushion

45

So I think I am figuring out this whole timing thing with a baby.

I am told that getting anywhere on time with kids is pretty much impossible. “You just have to plan better” was my answer. That was always responded to with laughter as parents stared at each other and shook their heads at poor ignorant me. “You just wait till you have kids!” they would respond. Well…I recognize it isn’t as simple as I thought—it never is.

I can see why people say that being on time is almost impossible, but I hate being late and not honoring people’s time. When we first had Claire we were late to everything. I blamed lack of sleep, the dog, running our of coffee and the cat…its always the cats fault in our home.

Anyway, so after a few months of being late to pretty much everything I started preparing things the night before to make sure we would be set for the next day. However, Claire always has a schedule of her own: diaper change as we walk out, barfing everywhere, or the cat sneaking outside as I hold the door open with my pinky toe while at the same time holding the baby carrier, diaper bag, work bag and lunch bag.

Does anyone want a cat?

So it seemed like the night-before-idea just wasn’t cutting it. I tried prepping an hour before we needed to go anywhere but that also didn’t work—an hour was too much time. It’s amazing how many diapers and outfits (Claire’s and mine) a kid can go through in one hour. I tried 30 minutes but that was nuts! I would forget half of the things I needed to bring with me. I swear no one noticed it, but one day I wore a brown and black shoe to work…sigh.

Last week I tried 45 minutes. It works! 45 minutes before needing to be anywhere is perfect. Just enough time to change, feed, prepare everything and kick the cats sorry behind back through the door. I’m telling you a 45 minute cushion is perfect. I realize that will change when kid number two comes around (some day, but not yet). However, right now 45 is this guys new favorite number.

Seriously, does anyone want a cat?

Categories: fatherhood, fathers, living, patience, time management | Tags: , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

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