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Daily Reflections

Day 2: The Satisfaction of Incorporating Mindfulness Into Work

Today, my husband took a day off work. A day off for him means that he will do projects around the house or take care of the yard. I tend to handle the shopping, laundry, cleaning and dish washing, so I'm happy he handles everything outside.

When we were first married, we used to jump into projects together. I would be by his side, learning and doing. As my career in real estate took off, I started helping out less and less until I just wasn't helping out at all.

I remember one July 4th weekend about ten years ago, we were in our old house, thinking of what to do with the time off that weekend. Most people would go out, visit the zoo, take a trip or plan a picnic. Not us. We found ourselves in the living room that Friday night discussing the removal of a wall. I said to him, "do you like that wall?" He said, "not really - should we take it down?" The conversation was short. Matt grabbed a sledge hammer. The wall went down.

At first, the projects were fun for both of us, but I became consumed by my business and I rarely had time or desire to help. Together, we decided that my time would be best served taking care of my clients and putting more money in the bank for the projects that got bigger and more expensive!

After that, if he asked me to help, most of the time I would just get annoyed because I already felt I was being stretched so thin. He didn't want to work with a frustrated Heather, so I was able to get out of helping. At first, I was genuinely stressed out, but over time (hindsight being 20/20) I think I began using my work and my frustration as a way out of helping. I was perfectly fine sitting behind the keyboard connecting with clients for future business.

The further I traveled down the road of inner work, the more I realized that doing projects together created intimacy between my husband and I. So, today, when he took the day off to spread some rocks and rebuild/paint the shed doors, I offered to help.

It had been a long time since we worked side-by-side on a project - and I am a very different version of myself now. I took a back seat and allowed him to utilize me as an assistant. I power washed the siding on the shed and the porch including the spindles and railings. I ran to the home supply store for a few last minute items. I painted the rebuilt shed doors (2 coats - black satin). All the while, he spread 4 yards of river stone on a path, prepped the wood for painting and is out there still at 9:15 finishing up the trim and front door of the shed.

Not only did I enjoy working beside my amazing husband, but I did so with an open heart and mind. I didn't complain once, nor did I get frustrated or snippy. To be completely honest, it took no effort to keep my cool. I owe this hardworking, yet enjoyable day to my mindfulness practice. By taking care of myself, I can be a better version of myself to help support the lives of those around me.

Matt appreciates all I did to help him. He said it saved him hours of work, which means we may actually go to bed together tonight. That alone makes it all worth it.

- Me

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