Day 2 of 20 *Questions*: Is this what I want to be doing?

Is this what I want
to be doing?

Since moving to Malaysia, I have become temporary chair of the PTA at our boys’ school.  I don’t yet know if I enjoy it.  But someone needed to step up, and I was there with time and energy, and I really wanted to learn more about how the school functions, especially as an international school in a local community.

It’s a fair amount of work.  There are lots of events that we’re expected to do, and the steering committee is made of people with 4 different mother languages.  We all have kids, so we’re busy.  And I often find myself asking, “Is this what I want to be doing?”  I ask it with each task I volunteer for, with each e-mail I send, with each time I wonder how I’ll get everything done before the deadline.  The obvious answer, you might think, would be, “No, this isn’t what I want to be doing.”  It’s not like it’s fun, easy, or terrifically rewarding.

But each time, I think, “for now, yes. This task is important, and I want it to be done.  For now, I will do this.”  It gives me permission to put my energy fully into the role, to commit, and in so doing I often find pieces I do enjoy.  Starting a Christmas charity drive was really special, and only happened because I repeatedly said, “Yes, this IS what I want to be doing.”

Asking this question also gives me permission to notice when I won’t want to do it anymore.  I already know that I’m winding down my time as chair – and it gives me some time to find a replacement so I can finish this commitment well and without guilt.  There are other things that I also want to be doing, and I need to be free to turn to those.  It’s said that discipline is knowing what you *really* want – this question invites your time to be disciplined and thus freed.

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