Your Reminder: Stop.

Posted on December 27, 2019


Today’s Buzz is by Samantha Roberts– connect with her on LinkedIn and Twitter!

What I’m Watching:  The new world of DTT (Day Time Television)

What I’m Reading: Leading From the Front: No-Excuse Leadership Tactics for Women by Angie Morgan and Courtney Lynch

What I’m Drinking: My favorite coffee roaster, Stumptown Coffee

So while I may not have the technical gems you came looking for from an ELGL Morning Buzz, I offer you this reminder as we bring 2019 to a close: stop.

Not only am I, like many, in the midst of the post-mid-holidays funk, I am also home with a two-week-old and feeling very out of the game.  My brain has been so focused on bringing a new person into this world that local gov topics have taken a back burner. My fever for learning has been replaced by a newborn-sleep-deprivation-induced fog, and honestly the last thing on my mind is innovation. Scanning the latest installments of fantastic articles written by folks on the Morning Buzz Team, “I have to Ask” guests, the GovLove podcast, etc., I feel a supreme inadequacy to write anything technical or professionally useful. As if any of it would be coherent right now anyway.



As I wracked my brain, then, for the past few weeks as to what to contribute, I kept coming to a reflection on this season of my life and the concept of productivity.

You see, I am used to a hurried schedule, tight deadlines, never having enough time to do what needs to be done (at home, at work, for myself).  There are no less than ten home projects in mid-progress begging for my attention on a daily basis.  There are constantly special projects that “I’ve been getting to” for months just taunting me from my desk.  I am used to measuring my day in what was checked off of my mental or physical to-do list.  But in this moment, I am home. My new baby feeds every hour to two hours, won’t be put down for a nap, and by the end of the day when his dad and brother finally come home and can offer help, I am too sleep deprived and hormonal to even think about accomplishing anything beyond brushing my teeth and eating a hot meal.  I feel guilt for what didn’t get done (remember all those house projects languishing in purgatory?), and guilt for buying hook, line and sinker what my culture has led me to believe makes me a worthy member of society (as if “only” sustaining new life with my body isn’t enough).

And while I reflected on this tension in my life, I thought of us all in this season of the year.  We look to the end of the year and holiday as season as a time to slow down, take stock, and appreciate what we have.  To reflect on the year past and our intentions for the year to come. Yet rarely are we given the time to do so. Even if we take a vacation to “enjoy” the season, we fill it with tasks like preparing for house guests, planning and preparing several large meals, purchasing gifts, attending parties, and so on. Our “time off” is spent doing.all.the.things. And then we head back to the office January 2nd heart-full, but unrefreshed and ill prepared for the hurried schedule of a new year. Not only this, but we are also tempted by our culture’s expectation that a new year means “a new you”, filled with new expectations for achievement and ambition. This can become quite a hamster wheel of unnecessary exhaustion and guilt.

So while I may not have the technical gems you came looking for from an ELGL Morning Buzz, I offer you this reminder as we bring 2019 to a close: stop.

Stop measuring your worth by how much you’ve produced today. Make time for yourself.  Make time for healing. For reflection. Put down the technical mumbo jumbo and striving. Put away the innovative think tanks for a bit. Stop planning for a second. Get off Twitter or Tic Tok or whatever it is kids these days are into.  Be with your friends, your family.  Be alone.  Get comfortable with having nowhere to go and nothing to produce.  And just enjoy the fact that this decade is about to come to a close, and you’re alive to be there for the next.

#Merrycongratuchristmas to you all, and have a beautiful, full, delightful New Year.

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