On Marshmallows, Mushrooms, and Monotasking


'It's amazing how many marshmallows there are,' I enthused as Tim and I tromped over the damp woodchipped lawn.  I had just kicked a great big mushroom right off its hinges as we headed off for a morning walk.

I caught myself.  'MUSHROOMS!,' I shouted, 'MUSHROOMS!'  And started laughing as he rolled his eyes.

He's gotten used this.  Those closest to me have.  They might patiently wait for me to figure out the missing word, ignore my misnomer, or decide to fill in the blank.  If I say, 'you know, ol' what's his name' or 'what's her face' they're usually able to track with me.  

Kind of like a game of charades.  But this is no game.  And it doesn't end after a 20 minute round or two.


Before the month ends, there'll be more candles than ever on my cake.  68 is looming and I don't mind telling you that I'm not a big fan of the aging process.  Physically, mentally.  Truth be told, from time to time it unsettles me.  A whole lot.

YET ...

God hasn't given us a spirit of fear.  But power, love, and a sound mind. 
(2 Timothy 1:7)

Plus a sense of humor.  And the capacity to re-invent ourselves, pivot a bit, and prepare for unknown transitions ahead, knowing with confidence that He's already written the rest of our own uniquely personal story.


Let's face it.  We're all dying daily.  We don't like to hear that, but it's our reality as human beings.  Yet it serves no healthy or holy purpose dwelling on worst case scenarios or getting caught up in the downward spiral of 'what if this' and 'what if that.'

For awhile, I've quietly claimed the desire to live a 'no regrets' lifestyle so that when all is said and done, I can be at peace knowing that I did the best I could do at the time.  For me, that's required the hard work of relinquishing dreams, confessions of sin, changes of attitude, the giving of forgiveness, ability to say 'sorry, no, thanks,' embracing new habits, increased attention to strengthening my faith and my health.  

And now in this season, to gracefully re-invent how I do life, making some major tweaks to well-worn, deeply ingrained routines that don't serve me well anymore.

My goal is to become increasingly mindful and attentive to the conversation, situation, or task right in front of me.


That brings me to monotasking.

I'm embracing it.  Aiming to bring my full attention to one conversation at a time.  Finishing one task at a time.  Reading one book at a time.  Straightening one room before moving to the next.  Batching blogging stuff, bill paying, or information seeking and then shutting down the computer.

The secret is completing the next right thing before moving on to the next right thing.

*  An old fashioned paper checklist is my life saver these days.  There's great satisfaction in listing every must-do (small and big) and then crossing off one item after another, knowing that I'm not wasting time trying to remember something that's totally slipped my over-crowded mind.

*  Silencing my phone and keeping it out of sight is starting to keep me from endless random surfing which I swear has short-circuited my brain.

I used to be able to multi-task with the best of them.  It's not my preference anymore.  And most days there's no need to.  Accepting this reality has lifted remaining self-expectations to juggle a whole bunch of balls at the same time.  And in this new process, my body is calming, my brain is clearing, and my soul is more attentive to hearing the still small Voice of the One I rely on and love best of all.  

In quietness and confidence shall be your strength.
Isaiah 30:15

It's like God is using my need to leave multi-tasking mastery behind so that I can become the best version of my soon-to-be 68 year old self.  And able to focus on what I've always loved best ... meaningful one-on-one conversations.  Reaching out and listening well and responding in ways that will bring some kind of encouragement to the soul right in front of my nose. 

And yes, continuing to write something (hopefully) of value and connect with you right here in this space.

Read more about monotasking here.  These days #4 - #6 hit home for me.

When all is said and done, there's no one-size-fits-all to the aging process (or anything else for that matter).  I'd love to hear what's working for you ... or what you've learned by watching others a few steps ahead of where you find yourself.