Not the drink, but the state-of-mind

I’ve recently come to the conclusion that I am becoming more of a be-er everyday, rather than a do-er.  Right now, I think I’ve progressively edged away from the ‘doing’ frame of mind so well that “I’ll do it later” has become my daily (hourly?) mantra.  I like being a be-er.  In high school and early college, I most certainly was not one — I was instead wrapped up in all the things that needed to be accomplished.. Tests, races, games, papers, books, projects, meetings, applications, coffee dates, ceremonies, parties, etc.  After marriage, I began my slow (and wonderfully delicious, I might add) transformation into BEING.  Though recently this has manifested itself in some avoidance of daily life and tasks.

For those of you who are confused and still caught up in the fact that my own term of ‘be-er’ sounds amazingly like the alcoholic drink, I am sorry.  Let’s make some definitions.  In this post’s economy, do-ers and be-ers are simply personality tendencies — do-ers find the most delight in getting things done, crossing things off the list, while be-ers experience their great joy in doing nothing, but rather sitting and enjoying whatever has alighted upon them at the moment.  We can have some of both in our personalities, but we probably tend to lean toward one or the other as our main association.  One is not superior to the other — I see them as amazingly unique differences with how our hearts interact with the world around us, what refreshes us and causes us to be happy.

Today, this topic came to mind upon my exit from our veranda (my near-daily spot for reading, reflecting, sipping, and enjoying some rays during Jones’s afternoon nap, and recently in the morning, as well.. and sometimes at night with candles.. yikes) into our home.  I was closing the veranda door, coffee cup in hand, when a multitude of tasks descended upon my mind in a flash. (Isn’t it amazing how the mind works?) I saw a notebook on the desk and thought of how I needed to type this month’s finances into a spreadsheet and do the numbers for our envelopes so Bryan would know how much money to transfer from America this month.  Then the computer reminded me that I wanted to order that picture book that’s out-of-print for Jones and send it to my mom’s for Christmastime.  And write that email.  And that email, too.  And a silent, lonely dust bunny sits in the corner and begs me to vacuum our stairs, office, and living room.  I remembered trying to explain the concept of “dust bunny” to my Japanese tutor, which led to thinking of tomorrow’s kanji test over 100+ of the kanji I’ve learned since my lessons began 7 months ago — better study for that.  The coffee cup makes me think of dishes, the dishes make me think of dinner, the dinner makes me think of slicing carrots and cutting chicken.  Can I prepare the miso soup and rice with Jones playing again tonight, or should I do some prep beforehand?  And in an instant, I am overwhelmed and want to step backward onto the veranda, washing my hands of all these tasks and taking my place once more with the sunlight, the birds, my book, my thoughts.  I like it there, and it feels wholly other than the world within my home.  I want to learn to marry them, to make them one, and I suppose I am in that process.

Alas, the middle ground — I cannot sit on the veranda all morning and all naptime and all evening, avoiding my daily duties, nor should I pour myself into my tasks to avoid processing, praying about, healing from things I would rather not approach.  This also makes me think of seasons — I seem to be in a very thirsty time of life, where I can’t get enough books, messages, talks, articles, pictures, etc, and I spend all my extra time (after Bryan, Jones, food, and lessons) soaking up everything I can get my hands on.  Perhaps I should recognize this and enjoy the time for what it is — for seasons are short and always change, and the next might come before I am aware, bringing new challenges and delights.

As I end this, I wonder if we might all find one thing more enjoyable than the other — being over doing?  As I made that list above, none of it sounded particularly enjoyable, though I know I will feel a measure of relief when the tasks are finished.  Are there any of you out there, those who find delight in doing?  Do you have blogs, too, or is it just the be-ers who have sought a forum for their thoughts?  Make your presence known!


8 thoughts on “Not the drink, but the state-of-mind

  1. Good post. There is a balance between doing and being and I don’t think most of us know where it is. Sometimes I’m in a doing mode and usually my being mode follows afterwards when I’ve successfully been burnt out. So, I am online right now enjoying blogs instead of my homework. Thankfully no kanji tests coming up. You’ll do fine! By the way, I finished another Christian book if you are ready for a new read. Plus, I have several new magazines you are more than welcome to after I’m done with them. Oops, your blog just reminded me of several emails I need to do!

  2. I really enjoyed this post, Jamie! I think that most days I am a do-er, but I feel since becoming married, moving away from famiy & friends and learning to enjoy where the Lord has brought me that I have turned into somewhat of a be-er too! I hadn’t really thought much about it until now. I have always loved my To-Do lists, and organization within my home. I have a blog, but mostly it’s about Emily and our family-life, not necessarily what my thoughts are…..maybe I should include some of those every once in a while too! I’m praying for you often and thinking of you while you’re trusting in Him daily! I hope you get what you need done, but are also able to enjoy your time out on the veranda, sounds delightful! Have a great rest of the week/weekend!

  3. I’m definitely fit the description of a be-er. The daily bump-and-grind tends to wear me out. My husband is an extreme do-er and often runs around the house in a sort of frinzy when he gets home “completing” the tasks I didn’t quite get done. Glad to know there are others out there like me.

  4. Kristy — that’s hilarious!! running around when he gets home — i can see it in my mind, and he has a huge smile on his face, as if its his greatest delight. too funny! how’re you feeling???

    michelle — didn’t know you blogged, i’m lookin you up! thanks for the encouragement!

    christy — i want to see you soon! these weeks are busy, ne? when do you think you could get away for a mom chat some evening?

  5. Jamie, I have to let you know that I love your blog posts and appreciate the thought you put into them. I’m always nodding my head, thinking “hm” or encouraged to think deep thoughts with you after stopping by the High Countries. I don’t comment that often because I can’t be bothered by deep thoughts. (Just kidding!)

    Love to you!

  6. rt, i love you! (sometimes when i say it in my mind, i hear it like “rrrrt”, if that makes sense..) perhaps your 3 year old (when does she turn 4?) has something to do with not being able to bother yourself with deep thoughts.. 😉

  7. I am an introvert, which be my definition makes it so to the world, I am a be-er. I like being alone, I like sitting for long periods of time, even when my apartment looks a little on the messy side. Crowds are overwhelming and although I can be outgoing and pleasant, I mostly just like to be with myself. Weird…I know.

  8. Hmm…this is a hard one for me. Which am I? On one hand, I absolutely LOVE the feeling I get when I accomplish things on my to-do list (I even write down stuff that I forgot to write down before, after I’ve already done them, and then cross them off for the feeling of accomplishment. I know, weird.). But I have found that I am truly enjoying this time of life when I don’t have as set of a schedule, where I can sit and enjoy a cup of tea or coffee in our sunroom (my version of your veranda :)), and read or pray or dream or think or nap. I am not as driven by the dust bunnies, and my to-do list annoys me when it gets too long or constricting/compelling.
    I always look forward to days where my calendar is mostly blank, and waiting for whatever I choose to fill it, even if that is nothing.

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