How To Choose Connection Over Productivity

I've been reading a lot of articles about lonely motherhood lately. None of them are surprising, because I've been there.

We pay a price for our privilege today. All of us do, not just mothers. And that price is isolation.

My slow living tip for this month is this:

Resist the pressure to do it all, and choose connection over productivity.

Easier said than done, right? Absolutely. I'm not going to pretend that I'm making this happen for myself on the regular. I'm not.

But here are some ideas from an imperfect soul just trying to find some meaning amidst the chaos:

  • Make a NOT TO DO list. This one is my favorite. We live in an age of invasive technology, and it's wildly distracting. Check out Warren Buffett's 5/25 rule, do the exercise, and then make a NOT TO DO list based on what you've uncovered. And really do not do them. The things we say no to are sometimes more important than the things we do.
  • Foster hyperlocal community. This one is powerful, and there are a lot of ways to connect with your neighbors: Start a book club. Start a local Buy Nothing group. Do Flamingo Fridays in your neighborhood. Social connections to those around you are absolutely vital to your health and well being. I know these particular efforts pay off, because I've tried them all. If you want to start any of these things in your neighborhood, please feel free to contact me for help.
  • Nurture existing connections. I'm so guilty of neglecting my friendships in these years of early motherhood. Commit to reaching out to your friends just once a week, maybe. Or get really old-fashioned and write a letter. Liking a Facebook post will never be as satisfying as sharing a coffee with someone you love.
  • Stay home more. Do you live with other people? Consider clearing your schedule just a tiny bit, and committing to spending some real quality time with the folks who share your address. This isn't so easy when you need to shove piles of laundry off your dining room table just to make some space for game night, but it's worth it. Resist the urge to take care of some thing during this time, and take care of yourselves, instead. Some things to try: screen-free week, a weekly game night ritual, 20 set minutes every day of presence, a yes day with the kids, a family date night, the list goes on.

What about you? What are you doing to connect with the people you love? How are you resisting the pressure to do it all? Please share your tips here, I sure could use them.

Read January 2020's Slow Living Entry: How to Practice Radical Self-Acceptance

February 21, 2020 — Lori Oster


Susan Burton

Susan Burton said:

Lori, my last comment was about my friend. Now I am commenting for me. Answering your questions:

I have signed up for online movement classes for ME. Because I KNOW I will not do the healthy gentle movements and stretches my physical therapist prescribed unless I HAVE AN OUTSIDE TEACHER and CLASSMATES I am accountable to.

The class ended, but many of us plan to continue practicing together in small groups via Zoom meetings. I am so excited. I suggested this idea in the class private FB Group, the instructor stated in class that it was a great idea. It is happening.

Wish me luck. I said I would START practicing with the class videos two days ago. I had not YET done it. EEK!

Susan Burton

Susan Burton said:

Hi! I am in a private FB Group with you. I clicked on the “How To” link out of curiosity. And I found this AMAZING blog post that is perfect for a mother of three small children. I am sending her the specific link. She is struggling under the burden of the pandemic. She and her husband are doing everything they can to protect their children.

I wonder about the name of the tab “How To”. Should it be renamed “Blogs” or “Helpful Tips for Survival”? I will look through some other posts under this tab. But I NEVER expected to find this GEM of a blog under the words “how to”. I thought I was going to learn “how to” make a physical object, like maybe “how to crochet”, “how to build a bookshelf”. So that’s is why I am asking about a RENAME on that tab.

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