where’s the wonder?

Reverb December 4Wonder.
How did you cultivate a sense of wonder in your life this year? (Author: Jeffrey Davis)


Capricorn is all about hard work. Those born under this sign are more than happy to put in a full day at the office, realizing that it will likely take a lot of those days to get to the top. That’s no problem, since Capricorns are both ambitious and determined: they will get there. Life is one big project for these folks, and they adapt to this by adopting a businesslike approach to most everything they do. Capricorns are practical as well, taking things one step at a time and being as realistic and pragmatic as possible. The Capricorn-born are extremely dedicated to their goals, almost to the point of stubbornness. Those victories sure smell sweet, though, and that thought alone will keep Capricorns going.

I’m a Capricorn.

I didn’t start out true to Capricorn qualities. I used to spend hours daydreaming, sitting in front of the stereo speaker singing with Neil Diamond, and drawing pictures of my horse, Snoopy. That was 1981.

Then I grew up, went to college and got a real job.

And somehow between 1981 and now, I became a work-a-holic.

Don’t get me wrong, I love to work. I love a project from creativity to completion.

So much so, in fact, that I will work through breakfast, lunch and dinner. And not get up to pee.

I know I am not alone in this. We are a culture of productivity. Bigger, better, faster, more.

Like increases like, so on top of my nature of nose-to-the-grindstone, the cultural pressure and reward of hard work makes this a very tricky topic. This year I needed an intervention.

My mission for 2010 has been to learn how to take pause. To measure my moments by ease and spaciousness rather than productivity. Or not to measure my moments at all.

At best, challenging, at worst, futile, “pausing” has stretched my ideas about worth, pleasure, time and efficiency. I’ve even met resistance in my own home: my husband, upon catching me in a pause at my desk, asked, “Why are you wasting time looking out the window — I thought you had a lot to do?”

And voila… an inspiration. (Read: a new project.) We all need to be reminded to find the pause: go slower than necessary, doodle, nap, sit down, do something you aren’t good at, talk to a stranger. For me it’s a poetry break, taking a stretch, or letting go of a deep sigh.

Wonder lives in the pause.

And (don’t tell anyone…), we end up being more efficient, clear, creative and productive as a result.

It’s my grown up version of 1981, without the bad hair and hand-me-down bell bottoms.

A Capricorn who is starting to love the pause.

7 Responses to “where’s the wonder?”

  1. 1 Elizabeth December 5, 2010 at 6:17 am

    I feel like this will be part of my mission for next year. The word for the year will be trust and for me, finding (and appreciating) the pause requires that I trust (to say that I am not so good at doing that would be sort of an understatement). You will be my inspiration.

  2. 2 JennaFrancisco December 5, 2010 at 6:44 am

    Check out the story I just read this morning on NPR: http://www.npr.org/2010/11/24/131571885/how-to-thrive-dan-buettner-s-secrets-of-happiness

    Among other fun and inspirational thingees in there, here is a good one: why are people in Denmark so happy? They take vacation, don’t work too much, etc. It’s time to shove that good ol’ American productivity ideal under the rug and let it stay there. Life is about so much more. Take pause, and then take another. Love what you do in your work (and I know you do) and never, ever feel guilty about allowing more space in your life for everything else you love, too.

  3. 4 Y is for Yogini December 5, 2010 at 8:45 am

    your sun sign is my moon sign, and i am sooo capricorn. it’s excruciating for us to pause. i’m inspired to hear the creative ways you are taking time out. :) keep it up! you deserve all good things. xoxox

  4. 5 Teacher Goes Back to School December 5, 2010 at 5:30 pm

    clearly we agree on the need to slow down and have more fun pauses. i would argue though it is difficult to do alone – going against the cultural grain is hard work.

    let’s play more.

  5. 6 Keleigh December 6, 2010 at 8:36 pm

    Love this! :)

  6. 7 blogasana December 6, 2010 at 10:49 pm

    @elizabeth – we will help each other!

    @jenna – thanks for the link – yes, other cultures are my inspiration and evidence =)

    @madeleine – <3

    @yogini – yay for us!

    @tami – play more. yes.

    @kel – xoxo

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