Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Heart Work

I love the Friday Challenges that Jan comes up with. This week, she asked us to spend time on our heart work. To quote - "Think what (your heart work) might be - what is it you are scared of approaching - what is it that you would be working feverishly on if you knew your time on the planet was limited (and it is dear readers, it is!)". Her challenge was two fold - to determine what our heart work is, and to make it a priority in our lives.

Anyone who knows me knows that I have a finger in several pies. There are so many books I want to read; so many books that are waiting to be written. I have running related goals, and adventure desires. There are places I want to visit, things I want to experience. I would love to have more time for my garden, and for photography. I am passionate about all of them, and I would love to be able to devote time to any of them.

But if I knew I had only limited time on the planet, the only thing I would rush to do is to spend more time with my kids. I would try to compress a lifetime of loving into the few days I have. I would get less irritated with them, and would excuse more of their shortcomings. I would be less of a parent, and more of an grandparent- tell less, indulge more. I would probably also write notes to them that they can read when they are old enough to understand and need them. And I would definitely read 'The Little Prince' with them, so when they are old enough to understand, they understand what I was trying to tell them.

But do I really need to be told I have limited time on earth before I do all that? As a parent, I have to lay down certain rules and make sure they are followed, but can't I show them a lot more love than I do now. I love them, and they know I love them, but am I hugging them as much as I could? Do I tell them, and tell them again and again, that I love them unconditionally, and will always do so? Do I tell them without being asked that I am their friend and that I will always be their friend?

I started last night. Normally, I use the time when they are watching TV to catch up on housework. Yesterday, I went across and hugged them both. "Are you leaving for office now?", the younger one asked. "No darling, I'm not going anywhere now", I assured them. But I was ashamed- ashamed that they associate a hug with parting, when it should be something they take as their due.

A couple of minutes later, they came across and hugged me. I almost asked them if they wanted something, but bit my tongue so the question would not slip out. If I could hug them without reason, why could they not do the same?

I can't find my dog-eared copy of 'The Little Prince' - I know I did not lend it to anyone, but it probably got lost in one of our moves. I'll pick up a copy of the book tomorrow, and start reading it with them. If nothing else, they are going to like the pictures!

Thank you, Jan, for making me think of my heart work.


L. Diane Wolfe said...

That is a wonderful sentiment!

Jan Morrison said...

Arggh...the computer ate my homework! I'll try and redo it. I am so touched that you take my challenges so seriously. Especially this one which has had a fair bit of silence (while people think I hope!). And I love your story of hugging and perceptions. Of course we should remember every minute what is really important. Your role as a parent is to love and to model living life conciously - that means that you need to honour your creative side while respecting your children's too! So keep on your lovely writing and photography - like you I am full of many enthusiasms - ain't life grand!

Priya said...

Hi Rayna!

Came over from Indusladies. Your entry is nice..and valid point made.
Must say i got hooked..read many posts labelled kids and parenting.. loved all of them :) Can relate to the feelings and thoughts you have portrayed in each post!!

Elizabeth Spann Craig/Riley Adams said...

I love this! I'm trying to do the same...shake up my routine and little and enjoy spending time with the children. We both get so much out of it!

Mystery Writing is Murder

Cruella Collett said...

Love this, Natasha! It is true that we rarely prioritize what is most important to us because we forget that we have limited time. I'll do my best to learn from you!

Also - great challenge, Jan :)

Ann Elle Altman said...

What a cool post. I'm glad you did that. I know I find it difficult to put the right priorities ahead and It's nice to have reminders to do so... I think I will go tell my son I love him.


Rayna M. Iyer said...

@ Diane - thank you.

@ Jan - you are so wonderful and so wise, I can't but take your challenges seriously, More than anything else, they put in on the path to discovering what is really important - both to me, and for the world.

@ Priya - welcome to the blog. And thanks.

@ Elizabeth - it does have its own rewards, doesn't it?

@ Mari - we get caught up in so many things that need to be done, we do tend to forget - always nice to have a reminder.

@ Ann - Do! Jan made me realise that it is not enough that I love my kids, I must let them know and keep letting them know that I do.


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