The Merriam Webster dictionary defines pragmatic as ”dealing with the problems that exist in a specific situation in a reasonable and logical way instead of depending on ideas and theories”
I personally see pragmatism it as keeping my life simple, uncomplicated, and if something works, it works.
I grew up in the 80s in the US, when everything was possible for women. I grew up believing I could do anything I wanted to do and had a lot of ambition. I wanted to study internationally. Live in Europe. Work for an international company. Friends, husband & children, family were also an important part of my life. Encouraged by my parents, I did it all and more. I was focused, as a lot of women are, on getting it all done. Fitting it in. Keeping my head above water.
Work. Travel. Kids. Outside activities. Exercise. Planning for the future. Because I wanted it all, it pushed me to be extremely efficient. Proving myself in the workplace while keeping the home life going, pragmatism became second nature.
- Ordered groceries on line and get them delivered
- Always having a plan or an agenda to be sure everything was fit in
- Obsessively anticipating the week or the month to avoid being overwhelmed
I did what I had to do, in the most pragmatic way possible. I became the to do list queen. But at one point, I felt like I was ticking the boxes. Do & move on. Do & move on.
I started having trouble concentrating. Having memory issues. Burned out. While I loved my life, I felt like some of it was passing me by….
Luckily, the French culture rubbed off on me. Appreciating the small things. Taking it slow. Being spontaneous. Play is just as important as work. So I started making small changes…
- Taking the time to have coffee with colleagues rather than running back to my desk after lunch
- Not planning out everyday while on vacation but deciding what to do when we wake up
- Going for a walk in a new city without having to map out my route before hand
- Not planning all my meals for the week, but deciding once I get to the market
- Sitting and talking for 2 hours with family or friends rather than thinking about what I should be doing
- Trying a new fitness class on a whim
Not planning every minute of my day, giving up some of that pragmatism that was so engrained, has caused me to lead a richer, fuller life. Not being permanently glued to a to do list, and trying to find a pragmatic solution for fitting it all in all the time, has changed my life for the better.
I am linking up with Deb Runs for the Wednesday Word. Pragmatic.