Working on this blog post, I thought that much of what I called ‘prep’ was inefficient and ultimately futile. I took a lot of stress breaks. I was not necessarily stressed about this blog post, but when I was stressed about other things I took time to play Batman: Arkham City, or listen to music or practice Tae Kwon Do when I could have been doing this assignment. I was inefficient (remember?) so I delayed this until last minute.
I also had some problems deciding on a word. I wanted it to be the best possible word for me, so I rejected a lot of perfectly fine choices because of a misguided belief that my destined word would appear in flames before my eyes, or some other nonsense. Until my older sister pointed this out to me, I was unaware that when I paced the house muttering “What is the word that perfectly encompasses all I am, and all I aspire to?” my whole family stared at me.
Yeah, I guess one could say that I am a perfectionist.
The word I ended up on was quite different than the word I first picked. I thought at first I would pick Learn. “Yes,” I thought “here is a word that I can play with, I can talk about learning from life, plus it makes teachers think ‘IDEA! He is going to be a great learner!’” However, as I contemplated my word choice further, I began to realize that the word I originally thought to be ‘the one’ actually didn’t fill me with pride, or elation. In fact, thinking about using Learn as my word just made me….
Well there you go. Now everyone knows my great secret. Teachers, just fail me now. So, as a bolt of mental lightning hit me and forced me to see the light (Learning is tiring? Say WHAT!) I began to deliberate on different words. I thought about Understanding. “Nah. What about creating, innovating? I like those, and Understanding doesn’t cover them very well.” Then I meditated on Change. “Hmmm. This could be it. I like Change; it’s kinda cool.” But as I began to write this post, I realized with a start what my perfect word is. Love.
Love, you say? Why? Isn’t love just an overly romanticized concept that fills the heads of children with nonsense about how their future is a fairy tale with a happy ending just waiting in the wings when they should be learning about stocks, and planning 10?
Well… I guess if you want to look at it like that, you could.
But I know I don’t.
When I think of love, I think of things that make me happy. I think of coming home to a warm dinner, finally playing that piece of music that’s stumped me, singing obnoxious pop songs at full blast when the house is empty, watching Star Trek, or breaking through wooden boards with my fist. See, these are things that make me happy. These are things that I Love. When I am feeling like I want to HULK SMASH because I am so angry at the world and everyone and everything is conspiring against me to make my life miserable, sometimes I need to pause and take a moment for myself.
I’m sure many of you have heard about how taking breaks to do something you love actually increases your efficiency, rather than decreasing it? This is a very good point for the validity of love, but I would rather focus on happiness than efficiency. Someone once said that “It does not matter the breaths you take, only the moments that take your breath away.” Doing things you love just because you love them is perfectly okay. Working and being productive is all well and good, but sometimes you just need to remember the things you love, and why you love them. Honestly, it’s a remarkably calming exercise.
(Click HERE to go a Ted Talk talking about the power of taking breaks)
Taking all these things into account, my new mantra is going to be: Love life. I know that’s not a word, but whatever. Love can be my word. I’m just needy, so I get a mantra too.
As I come to the end of this post I am starting to think that maybe my ‘prep’ time wasn’t so bad. Taking breaks to remind myself of my love of Batman, or of how much I enjoy ho-cho possibly was not such a bad idea. Oh, sure it was certainly very inefficient, but maybe it wasn’t an exercise in futility after all.
“I have decided to stick with love. Hate is to great a burden to bear.” -Martin Luther King Jr.