A braided day

Multitasking was “in” several years ago. And since it didn’t work for many, concentrating on one task or uni-tasking is more and more appreciated and emphasized today.

I must admit that I sometimes confuse uni-tasking for doing one thing the whole day or at least for the biggest part of it. This misconception does lead me into upsets and being annoyed on all kind of interruptions including from inside, like hunger, thirst etc.

Today was one of the days when I became aware of this behaviour on my part. So I started a game with myself naming all the jobs and/or activities I was practicing today. Here are some of them (please, don’t take them too seriously or literally):

  • Day-care provider for my six-month-old daughter,
  • Entertainer for my children,
  • Santa-Claus on the International Children’s Day,
  • Cook for my family,
  • Cleaning personnel,
  • Moving specialist (unpacker) with inner design skills (applicable probably only to our home),
  • Writer,
  • Editor of technical content,
  • Job searcher,
  • Home owner showing the building company specialist, which small quirks in our house are to be corrected,
  • Travel manager assistant (within family),
  • Laundry master,
  • Knowledge manager (in our new home, where to find what 😉 ),
  • Etc.

Some of the activities were done and finished. But most of them were started, interrupted by another one, mainly by the very first one in the list above, and then done again.

If I smiled at this “chaos”, then it became productive; if I complained, the space around me darkened, in spite of the bright shiny day today.

Fortunately, the complaints were often exchanged with wonder at all the surprises the life had for me in tow and how my plans for several hours up front were always overthrown.

So, during one of the washing/cleaning activities, I think it was while drying Emma’s bottles, I tried to imagine a pattern for my day it could symbolize. Braids came immediately to mind. I considered the alternative of mosaic but realized that some of the activities were not granular but continued after being interrupted, and if I took care of and time for them then the “hair” inside was smooth and “obedient” and braided nicely into a clean arc.

You might ask, what this kind of symbol is good for. Well, it helped me to visualize my day and seeing it as a braid made it pretty, not an ugly and miserable experience of chaos as I often had in the past.

Then, in the past, I often considered only one activity as worthy and important, so that I consequently and subsequently thought: “I didn’t manage anything today!” But when I made the list above today, the only thing I had to say was “Wow. Not bad at all!”

I am sure most of us juggle tens of activities in job, family and many other areas. And we complain that we don’t make any progress in what is supposedly our preferred occupation.

But isn’t one step forward fun in itself?! Because it brings us further. Every step is a step forward, because we can learn from any of our experiences, even when being tired and irritated. But only if we take a step back, disengage from those feelings and consider them in a nonjudgmental way.

Then we are free to choose the next step without any pressure of achievement or fear what others would say.

Picture: I must say that I am in awe again and again that our house, the way it is today, was built upon the design decisions and adjustments by my husband and me. That we were who made it possible. Here you can see how it looked from outside about a week ago. Now the garden and terraces are taking shape. All of this was and is done one step at a time. In a very braided manner. Also when not done by us.