Lead a Process Over Product Life

                                Being an art teacher I have always worked hard to make my teaching primarily about the importance of the process and less about the product. Yes, the product matters of course, but having a meaningful and fulfilling process is so important in making the product all the more beautiful. In other words, you must enjoy what you're doing in order to do it better. Sounds simple enough right? But applying that line of thinking to my own life has been a personal struggle and a huge focus of mine for this summer. When life gets too busy and overwhelming we begin by planning ahead and putting all our hopes on tomorrow and forgetting all the beauty of life that could be happening right here and now, under our noses.
                                 As summer comes to a close I begin to stress about the new school year for both my kids and myself and my way of dealing with all this rising stress is hunkering down and planning every bit of it so that all I have to do is look at my calendar and there my chaos will feel less disorganized, more controllable and life will be calm again. But, planning the future takes time, time away from the kids, time away from cooking, from working out, from eating healthy. So no matter what I do, chaos resurfaces. Ultimately, I have come to realize that some semblance to chaos in our lives, whether now or later, is okay. I have come to accept that life is inherently messy by nature, and that the real trick in life is learning how to live with this never-ending messiness; and not always trying to fix life or control it's flow.
         A few ways I am trying to 'enjoy the journey' and let go of the future or the product are:
1.  I'm turning off my cell phone and checking it only a few times a day.  I do not need to check my email every 20 minutes. Countries will not fall apart if that email is not answered within a day.

2. I am clearing my mind when I am with my kids and I tune in to what's on their minds for once, what are their hopes and dreams, what are their worries, etc. I am always surprised at what comes out of their mouthes when asked about their worries. Kids have some deep worries that we often find very trivial to us, but nevertheless, they are real worries that must be addressed seriously for them to go away.

3. I take the time to eat well. That means cooking, prepping my veggies, taking my vitamins, sitting down while eating, not eating the kids' scraps.

4. I take time to work out now, not tomorrow, not later today, just walk out the door.

5. Every time I find myself veggy-ing in front of the computer I make sure that I am not wasting it watching others having fun. In trying to convince my own kids about the possible pitfalls of television, I always tell them that watching TV is a lot like sitting very still and watching others have fun, that instead they should always try to be the ones out there having this fun for real. I am not a fundamentalist when it comes to TV, my kids have learned so much from TV, there are some amazing and wonderful, educational shows out there. I do think some shows are more valuable than others and that some kid shows even can even be hurtful.

In what ways do you lead a process-over-product life?

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