I was recently inspired by a blog I follow to write the following:
When I was in grade school I had an unusual hero. While other girls my age were mimicking Madonna or Cyndi Lauper or faithfully watching every episode of Punky Brewster, I was entrenched in the book, Cheaper by the Dozen about the Gilbreth family with twelve children. I thought the dad in the story was a miracle worker. What I remember most is how he seemed to always find inventive ways to accomplish multiple things at once. He also tackled the finances with wit and a frugality like none I’ve witnessed since. He was silly, but brilliant in my eyes.
And now as I partner with my husband to raise three girls while writing daily, I find that I’m constantly participating in my own balancing act. I’m trying to balance the budget, balance my time and balance my sense of humor with practical wisdom. I thrive on creative ways to squish ten to-do’s on my list into a five minute time span. This is coming from a woman who learned to talk on the phone and pluck my eyebrows while breastfeeding. I considered that quite a feat.
~~I think I’m hitting upon the art of multi-tasking. Have you seen the commercial where Kelly Ripa zooms around her house doing laundry, making cookies as she completes approximately 400 other tasks? That’s what I’m getting at. I stand in awe of people who accomplish numerous things in a matter of minutes on a regular basis.
When I think of Mr. Gilbreth from Cheaper by the Dozen (or hysterical Steve Martin from the movie version) or even Kelly Ripa in that commercial (or let’s be honest even her real life), or my eyebrow-plucking, phone-talking, breastfeeding self, I think of the creativity, dexterity and mind power that goes into completing many things at once. Yet, I’m overly aware that some things get dropped. Some things are compromised and not all things can be done with excellence.
As I reflect on my unusual childhood hero, Mr. Gilbreth I conclude that I’ve always longed to make the most of every minute of my life. I think I’m learning how to maximize my time, while also letting some things drop. Because after all, some things in life just gotta give.
What about you—can you let some things drop? Is it exciting for you to think of ways of getting more done in less time? Finally, did you have an unusual childhood hero?
*photo by flickr