Tough Audition :: The Cut

The amazing Kasey Armstrong introduced this grid at a workshop last weekend. If you know the source, please leave a comment.

Really, I just want to show off this grid. It is so great. It helped me frame my life in terms of personal development and what I would call “self-culture.” (I’m not sure that I could claim Mother Culture when I’m by myself instead of in a homeschool mom circle….)

When I say tough in the title, I do not mean extra-high standards. Because I love all of the activities that I’ve chosen, I struggle when it’s time to say good-by. That’s tough.

So let me get personal.

again, no source can be found. let me know if you have it.

Currently, I have no time for myself. I watched two movies at home last month, the first time in many months. I enjoyed that and want more of that in my life. (Which also means that I have two new knitted dishcloths! Another option would be using that time for dance classes.)

I’ve had 8 different extracurricular activities going on during 2018; four were shorter-term, event-based activities with the other four being longer-term, more intense gigs. (They were also the paying gigs. Also, I did not include my bees or dance.) I’ve been involved in six of these activities for 4 – 10 years; only two are new as of the last half of this year. Some things are going to get cut in 2019; others will be majorly scaled back. I think I have 5-10 hours per week that I get back for myself.

After thinking on the grid from last weekend’s conference and a reality check last night from a friend, I set criteria this morning. I decided on the following to help me make the cut. A side gig must have:

  1. tangible impact on my immediate world (results in a geographical radius)
  2. impact to last for the next seven generations (long-lasting)
  3. potential for personal growth (see the grid above)
  4. at least three of the circles above (I need a satisfying sense of purpose)
  5. a low amount of energy vampires (for my sanity and especially for the sake of those around me.)
  6. organizational support/structure (set me up for success, would you?)

My eight gigs pass the first four criteria. That’s how I decided to add them in the first place. I added energy vampire and organizational structure today. I am not sure why energy vampires make my choices difficult. It would seem easy to drop an activity if the people drive you nuts. Maybe I am an ever-optimist about people rising to the occasion or I slog through projects because I believe in the projects or I think the potential for greatness is just over the next hill or maybe I am in denial of the fact that some people aren’t good at the things I need them to be good at in order for my work to go well. This is tough on my heart, and criteria add objectivity to the process.

Seeing organizational issues can be harder when I’m new to a group. But I know that three times, I have left a poorly-led group because I realized that I can be in touch with great people outside of group meetings. We may have met through a group, but we aren’t limited to group activities. Another time, I left a group because I realized that I’m more effective elsewhere and it would never be organized in a healthy, helpful way unless magic unicorn horns fell from the sky into our meeting space — peace fell upon my life immediately. Being involved in an organization out of obligation or tradition is not healthy, IMO.

The last considerations are so interwoven into my daily life that I almost forgot to name them: Laudato Si (the Pope’s encyclical) and Mitakuye Oyasin (the Lakota philosophy which I find to be included in the encyclical. You probably sensed this one coming when I mentioned seven generations).

Here’s to a new year of less commitments!

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