When we were kids and living on Westshore beach in New Zealand we were often late to school. Especially when we had to wait for the littlies who we had to escort to school. And we were only about five blocks from school so we walked of course. Everyone did. And when running late Mum would counsel us to” walk to a lamppost then skip to the next lamppost then RUN to the next lamppost then walk again, skip, run, etc. she said you will get there faster if you give yourself a lampposts worth of walking downtime. fullsizeoutput_7

Good advice for life I have always thought, to push hard for a while knowing that you can go slow again at regular intervals.

Stress is ok but it is important to have those wee organized blocks of downtime.

I say to my cows or pigs or dogs – I am going on a break and I give myself permission to sit and do nothing for ten minutes. Absolutely nothing. No device, no talking, eyes closed. A walking lamp-post.


There is another idea for managing life that I heard on a Ted talk the other day: multi tasking in slow motion. The art of working on more than one task at a time. Open a screen – line up your headings then go and do something else while your ideas filter and cogitate.

I think most of us naturally work on three or four things at the same time. It would be interesting to sort them out and name them.

More extreme rain and terrible storms here today. Literally just under three inches in about twenty minutes. The sky was a terrible dark greeny colour. Then we were hit.

Then within a half hour the sun was out again and John was making corn muffins with cornmeal I had brought home from the mill. Thankfully he does most of the cooking now. Or we would not be eating before eight or nine. I am never finished with chores before six and he goes to bed at seven so he cooks. Sensible.

And greens from the garden. The greens are loving this weather! The asparagus is really beginning to grow.

Now, it is time for me to ready the cows for milking. And run for a few lamp-posts.

Have a good day.


31 Comments on “ONE LAMP-POST AT A TIME

  1. I love the lamp post idea as a way to manage my day. Thank you for sharing your story.

  2. Your mum was an early proponent of High Intensity Interval Training, thinly disguised as Getting the Kids to School. I like your plan of regular tiny time-outs; my tai chi instructor would call it Replenishing your Chi, or letting the energy rise again, ready for the next onslaught. How fortunate that John can cook, and muffins, too! Mine is very interested in food, but much less in the process of producing it!

  3. The thistles must have high nutrition value, the Thistle Eaters are all putting on weight. I can’t believe how much rain you are still getting. Glad you don’t have to cope with dinner as well. Laura

  4. Interval training, but time to refocus on the next interval’s content, too. I like it!

  5. A gift from your Mom all those years ago to manage your busy life now. Remember to skip, run, walk, dear girl. And you have & do & get it all done. And on time & a delicious supper is waiting.

  6. I just got back from Chicago for a couple of days last night. The storm came in from the south west – I was thinking of you and the other farmers in the wet prairie. Watching the storm from a tall building was pretty exciting! Envious of your corn muffins and fresh asparagus! Keep those lampposts in sight!

  7. Cornbread and fresh greens! YUM! Just need a tall glass of buttermilk to go with that. (oh and some onion) Love the idea of walk, skip, run. We use crawl, walk, run often in IT. All implementations begin with just the basics and 1 or 2 goals. Have a lovely day and take those lamp posts carefully.

  8. I think that’s the secret to your boundless energy–allowing yourself those ten minute breaks in which you do nothing.

    And I’m with you on the slow motion multi-tasking, though i’ve never called it that. I often open a file and title it, maybe make a few notes, then let the thoughts about it compost in my brain. I call it creating a container. Once you have the container, your brain rushes to fill it. Nature abhors a vacuum and all that.

  9. I love this advice so much. I’m going to try to put it into practice right away. I find myself multitasking in circles around the house when I’m doing multiple things I walk from room to room and pick something up or put something away or organize something or clean something and then go onto the next place and do something in that room when I deliver or put away something in that room. I feel as if I’m walking the circles of life. But the lamp post image is a lovely one. I’m also glad to know that you get a few minutes of downtime or you just get to sit and rest so that you don’t push too hard and enjoy yourself.

  10. That was clever of your Mummy.

    Wait, what? He goes to bed at seven???

  11. Your lamp-post technique is wonderful. Reminds me of bus stops on rainy days. We had a good stretch of the leg walking to and from school. On Oregon’s rainy days, mom gave us coins to ride the city transit. My deal to myself was that if I was near a bus stop and the bus was approaching, I could choose to take it, but most times, I was so close to home and I was already so wet, it was wiser to save the money and finish the walk. Gave the coins back to mom. I loved walking in the weather – smelled so good and it was so silent when it snowed –

  12. I just love how thoughtful your fellowship is. Such wonderful people. Like them I’m intrigued by the lamppost idea. Definitely going to try it. But I must say I am not even remotely a multitasker. I would’ve been diagnosed with ADD when I was a kid. I can’t cook and listen to tv, especially if I’m reading a recipe.

  13. Your mom was a wise woman. We can go at full speed all the time. And doing nothing isn’t going to get anything accomplished.

    Rain … so MUCH rain.

  14. I often comment to the G.o. who frequently gives me The Look when he perceives I have too many things on the go, that I am working in circular motion, it will all come together in the end… and it does.

  15. What a great memory about the lamp posts. That asparagus looks AMAZING! My husband cooks, too, and I love it.

  16. That was a good comment earlier, your Mom was doing interval training before it was invented as an exercise. I like that.

  17. My spouse does the cooking and very well indeed, he’d love to have some of that asparagus. His son became a chef, so it runs in the family, all his kids cook well. I can and occasionally do cook, but prefer to bake once in awhile. The standing is not something I can do much of anymore.
    We had a lot of lightning last night, not much thunder so it was distant and not much rain either. Stay dry, looks like more rain over the coming week.

  18. You have such great ideas for getting the most out of your day, C! (Always have wondered how on earth you managed it all:) so thanks for sharing this suggestion in particular… (‘Cause not stopping for a timely rest has often been my downfall, now that you’ve got me thinking about it:/) and totally love the lamppost analogy, it’s such a great visual: )

  19. Wise Mum!! That green color the skies get before a storm is so ominous! I would love to come for supper for corn muffins and fresh asparagus!!

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