May 28, 2008 at 12:17 pm 4 comments

I had this big button that hung on my bulletin board for years, all through college, and for a good ten years after in my various home offices. I’m not sure what happened to it, but I still think of it:

To do is to be. – Socrates

To be is to do. – Plato

DoBeDoBeDo. – Sinatra

Clearly we live in a culture of doers. What we “do” is often the first question people ask one another on meeting. I definitely get into major “do” modes myself, and I think I’m in one now. On the computer late into the night, waking up at 5am with ideas and to-do’s chattering in my brain.

Of course, doing can be a good thing. I tend to get invigorated when the ideas are flowing and the work is happening. Studies show that the longer we “do” in life, the longer we live, in many cases.

On the other hand, we can take our doing too far. Forgetting to stop and enjoy, or to take care of ourselves. To sleep, for me. I think we often need a good dose of “be” to temper the “do” and feel balanced in our lives. Some quiet. Some attention. Some nothing.

Here in coastal California, the “just be” attitude is certainly more appreciated than in other parts of the country that I’ve lived in. My years in Washington, DC, were so filled with doers and doing that I kind of ran screaming back here for some sanity.

In our little family now, when we get too far into “do” mode, we nudge each other to take some “be” time. To stop running around on a Sunday evening and drive over to the beach, lay a blanket out on the sand and eat dinner slowly, and play a little. Then do again tomorrow.

So, as I write this at 5am, at my computer, my DD sleeping soundly in the next room, I think I’ll take my dose of “be” to temper my doing this month. And I’ll remember the other lesson of my kitzchy little button — not to think too hard all the time.

I’ll take a lesson from the sleeping child, and the crooning Sinatra, take a deep breath and laugh. Honor the ideas and work, but still try to turn the brain off for a few hours tonight. And be. And do again later. Be. Do. And DoBeDoBeDo.

Here’s to a DoBeDoBeDo week to you, too.

Entry filed under: Uncategorized.

Gone Barefoot! Profound Words

4 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Shawn  |  May 30, 2008 at 1:13 am

    I’m taking the next three months to just be … with my daughters, with myself, with my novel, with my creativity, with the season. I nearly forgot to do that all this time. Amazing. It can be a curse to be a doer, that’s for sure. Enjoy your crooning.

  • 2. bridge  |  June 1, 2008 at 5:04 pm

    good advice! thanks…
    dobedobe do

  • 3. rowena  |  June 4, 2008 at 12:57 pm

    Good post. I definitely feel caught up in the Doing, with less time for the Being, lately… but maybe that’s just part of the Being, sometimes.

    Hmm. I must consider.

  • 4. Mrs. Jones (aka Sugar)  |  June 6, 2008 at 11:54 pm

    Hi Megan! Are you planning on going up to SF for Blogher?


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To spark conversation about redefining success (as individuals, families and institutions) and to counter "never enough" messages currently circulating in our culture.

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Megan Pincus Kajitani: Writer, Editor, Former Academic Overachiever and Career Counselor, Mom, Wife, Feminist, Gen Xer, Californian who believes that change is possible View Megan Pincus Kajitani's profile on LinkedIn

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