Tag Archives: big picture

Three Hundred Forty Six: Focus on the Right Details

“It’s the little details that are vital. Little things make big things happen.”  – John Wooden

Saturday, December 13th

I have a habit of getting totally enmeshed in things, only to find that I’d been focusing on the wrong details. For instance, just now as I was logging on to write the post I decide to count out the rest of the posts for the year to see if it reaches 365 by December 31st. It didn’t…oops! So I back up to see if there was an Archive that would let me see the posts altogether instead of month-by-month. Nope. That leads me to counting out the posts from January 1st. What? Do I really need to count out 365 posts at 6 am? How often do I do this during my days – spin out onto some tangent that never even relates to the job I’m trying to do?

It can be fun to get lost in an intriguing detail. It can also lead to stress as I lose track of what I’m really trying to achieve. I need to jog my memory that I’m really working towards a larger goal.

Take yesterday. I’d been planning for several weeks to hold a social event for my daughter’s class. I reserved the Common House space. I got the word out. I kept in contact with parents and watched the RSVPs. Then invitations came out for a classmate’s bowling alley birthday party set for the same afternoon. I was disappointed that they’d planned it for 30 minutes after the end of my event. Parents would likely choose to take their kids to a free day at the bowling alley instead of to a toy/book exchange that would benefit the local food bank. Two of my four RSVPs dropped. I started to wonder why I’d planned anything altruistic with this group? When a couple mom friends started to get bummed out too I switched my thinking to a more positive outlook – don’t cater to the naysayers, work with the people who understood the reason for the party and were willing to participate. There will always be those who participate and those who don’t.

What resulted? Well, my kids and I went through a lot of their toys and discussed ones that they were willing to party with. I culled through their books. It was a great learning process, and we had toys ready that we could share with our little friend that is growing up in a single parent household before the event. The kids that attended the party had so much fun rambling around, and they even “shopped” for new-to-them things. The small group made it a reasonable amount of chaos and all the kids played with one another…and I got a chance to talk with every parent who showed up. There were so many good things about the way the event went.

It was a great reminder for me to stay the course. Building community happens one step at a time.

Do you lose track of the bigger picture? If so, how do you focus on what’s really important?

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Sixty Seven: Handing in the Scanner

“We have to create culture, don’t watch TV, don’t read magazines, don’t even listen to NPR. Create your own roadshow. The nexus of space and time where you are now is the most immediate sector of your universe, and if you’re worrying about Michael Jackson or Bill Clinton or somebody else, then you are disempowered, you’re giving it all away to icons, icons which are maintained by an electronic media so that you want to dress like X or have lips like Y. This is shit-brained, this kind of thinking. That is all cultural diversion, and what is real is you and your friends and your associations, your highs, your orgasms, your hopes, your plans, your fears. And we are told ‘no’, we’re unimportant, we’re peripheral. ‘Get a degree, get a job, get a this, get a that.’ And then you’re a player, you don’t want to even play in that game. You want to reclaim your mind and get it out of the hands of the cultural engineers who want to turn you into a half-baked moron consuming all this trash that’s being manufactured out of the bones of a dying world.”   – Terence McKenna

And now please read this quote again. Sheesh. Just when I thought that Terence McKenna was relegated to the annals of my mind where I shelf psychedelic-influenced philosophers, I find this quote and I can’t stop reading it. I like to think that I’ve retained some of that youthful passionate fight for justice, but then I find myself reading about JLaw’s red carpet trip on Oscar night or I’ll find that I’ve completely missed a world news event. I know I’m doing the good work in raising two wonderful little children and that alone forces me to check myself regularly for areas to grow and improve upon, but I feel like I need to do a serious detox of a lot of crap that comes in and out of my life.

I want to be more present in my life. More and more, I see myself fiddling with devices and looking at screens instead of fiddling on a fiddle and looking at faces. So I’ve wrapped up this scanner to send back to some consumer panel; I don’t quite know why I signed up for it in the first place. My husband questioned me several times why I’d volunteer to scan all our groceries’ bar codes, and I couldn’t really say. I guess I figured that I’d be representing a healthy diet in some widespread cultural assessment of diets, but what does that even mean? Couldn’t I pick up a cookbook and cook my family something new instead?

It was some way to be included, I guess, and that’s really sad. It’s sad that we are included because of our consumerism. Every time I shop, I’m asked for my personal contact information so my purchase can be tallied onto some club or rewards service. I’d prefer to be included based on my interest in an ideal, or a cause, or a concept for betterment. I’ll have to sit down and evaluate whether I’m really getting this in my life, or if I need to improve upon that.

How are you being culturally diverted?

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