by Penelope Loves Lists Contributor Lisa Shields
I’m deeply proud to be a Penelope. I relish in the fact that I get a lot more accomplished in a single day than the average person. I like that my house is tidy (for the most part) and that my laundry is clean and folded (again, mostly) and that my kitchen is well-organized and efficient (ok, entirely on this one).
I wear my Penelopeness like a badge of honor. Buuuuuut being a Penelope doesn’t mean we are perfect creatures.
I know, bubble … burst. (I promise not to tell your husbands or significant others or children this secret. We’ll keep it in the tribe.)
Today I’d like to specifically hold a magnifying glass to this question: “Does being a Penelope mean that we lose the ability to be spontaneous?”
If we’ve planned and plotted our lives to a degree that amplifies productivity, the downside very often is that we leave very little room for tangents.
But, what I DO wonder is: what my life would look like if I left more margin?
If I had just a touch of space in my day to listen, to notice, to observe. To take 20 minutes and sit on the porch in the sunshine (Oh, how I love me some sun on my skin!) or to pick up the phone and call a long time friend who I haven’t connected with in months.
Would the rhythm of my days feel more satisfying if I wasn’t trying to squeeze out every last bit of productivity possible? Would I be happier if I spent more time baking, which is a huge passion of mine? But that feels so wasteful somehow. I only do it on special occasions.
What if I spent more totally unplanned time with my daughters? I spend time with them every day, but it’s not at all unplanned, you know what I mean? I’d love to just hang out.
Something deep inside tells me that the answer to these questions is a resounding YES! But, admittedly, I haven’t unlocked the secret to this balance. It just isn’t in my nature to allow myself this luxury, no matter how beneficial it may be to my quality of life. I have no practical advice or handy trick that helps me live with more margin. Personally, I am just now putting my baby toe on the starting line of this particular journey.
But when I look at myself in the photo below, caught in a candid moment talking to dear friends, I see a relaxation in my entire visage that isn’t normally there. I want more of that in my life.
So, I’m asking you, Penelopes … how do you balance organization and spontaneity? Do you have tools that you use to leave room in your life for those tangents? For meaningful un-productiveness? How do you build margin into your days, weeks, years? Has this issue come up on your relationships at all?
Help a sister out if you can, because even though we aren’t perfect, we certainly are powerful. And I just have a feeling that if we put some good active discussion to this question, we will solve the conundrum in a really practical way. Because, after all, we are PENELOPE!