You may recall this post a couple weeks ago, when I told you about how I get reading done. And after I’d written it and received feedback and applause and accolades, I pretty much looked at myself in the mirror, and haughtily whispered:
Cara, why are you so amazing?
And I gave my tired eyes – those blood-shot hazels that boast two-day old mascara and remnants of a 2:30 am feeding party – a wink and a smile, and went on my merry diaper-changing ways.
But as luck would have it, as soon as I’d clicked the “Publish” button, the perfect storm hit: the HBH (Hot Black Husband) started his new job and we found ourselves navigating the raw impact of an over-the-bridge commute. And determined to stick to my Input-Only promise to myself (and to you), I remained stubborn to not produce anything in the month of October – but two speaking engagements in the first week and a half of November meant that I’d fallen prone to procrastination. Again.
With my head buried in theology books, my fingers tapped away furiously at the keys when Baby Brother didn’t beckon and when Big Brother didn’t need his hands pried free from his favorite new toy, the plunger. So when my brain needed a break and Gilmore Girls wasn’t cutting it anymore, I allowed myself one book: Richard Rohr’s The Enneagram.
Because finding out what you’re made of – those deep, dark pitfalls of your natural character type – is just fascinating to me. And it wasn’t until I’d underlined and starred nearly every other sentence in the Type Seven chapter that I came across this short paragraph:
“Amid the hunt for possibilities sevens now and then feel the longing for a happiness without external props: for simply lying on the beach and enjoying the sun. They ought to try that, instead of dragging with them the usual pair of books, Walkman, notepad and maybe even their laptop computer, in order to leave all possibilities open” (160).
Because sevens are always on the hunt for more: overachievers at heart, our deadly sin is gluttony, so we continue the search for more possibilities and more opportunities, more happiness and more fun. And while that particular intersection of a week didn’t lend me opportunity to crack open my usual six or seven books at a time, I did realize that too often I fill up every ounce of space and miss the little moments.
I stare at my Kindle but forget to see the baby boy smiling his first smiles on my lap or hear the two-year old singing a special song all his own to his little brother.
I listen to another book on Audible but neglect to relish in the moment of peace in the laundry room.
I mindlessly turn the pages of a paperback but shy away from the beauty of snuggling close to my love and brainlessly watching a show on television. (Scandal, if you must know).
So I decided to do something about it: and friends, I have not finished a book yet this month. Instead, when I’d normally fill the void, I have tried to practice stillness and quietness and just enter into the moment. I have listened to those voices in my head, the ones that speedily say It goes by so fast, and I’ve tried to taste it, to savor those nuggets of kairos in my chronos-filled life. I have tried to just BE.
Really, I’m just a broken record player of self.
But sometimes we read something or we hear something or we hear something, and we know it’s meant just for us. We know it’s meant to be heeded.
And so we do.
Because we don’t, not for one second, want to miss a moment of the Beauty that’s right in front of us.
What about you? If you’ve taken the Enneagram test, what type are you? And if you’re a seven, TEACH ME THY WAYS! How do you let go of the need for more-more-more?
I also doubt this is going to be the last Enneagram post, so here’s a thought: If you’re interested in learning more about your type, buy The Enneagram book. Or, better yet, schedule a meeting with my favorite Enneagram enthusiast and consultant, Leigh Kramer. (Leigh did not prompt or pay me to say this, I promise).