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R.J's Posts

  • Writer's pictureR.J Dyson

Values Behind Closed Doors

We have a rule in my home that devices aren't allowed in closed bedrooms and lone spaces. Sound extreme? We made this rule years ago before any of our kids even knew what an iPod was.

You know why, of course. Yeah, the obvious, there's so much inappropriate crap on these here inter-webs that it's possible to step in some without even trying. But that's actually not the main reason. Think about how easy it is to lose track of time watching, surfing, searching, gaming, newsing, comparing and all the while real life vanishes in the background like my hair.

Turns out I've had to break this rule almost daily for the last two months. I have an office space upstairs where I connect on most of my coaching calls and study when I need the quiet. However, I've always done most of my writing right here at the dining room table before the family rises for the day. Hours of quiet and progress. In the afternoons I'll finish much of it in the family room on the Mac with after-school noise and food and kids. It's a steady routine.

Now? Kids are schooling at home. It's been awesome. Seriously. But my daily creative habits have been forced to shift.

My window for extended writing and creating in that quiet space has narrowed. My afternoon time is even crowded out with two or three times as much commotion. I've been banished upstairs with a laptop and a closed door. Some of you might love that freedom, but it's a whole new way of creating, working and producing for me.

Here's the catch.

That rule about no devices in lone spaces is great. In fact, we still have it. But I'm remembering that it's not the rule that's important. It's the core value we hold as a family that shapes this rule. We value quality and quantity family time together. Healthy and honest family time. Accountable and engaged and creative time together. And hours away on a screen robs each one of us of what we value.

But there are some positives flowing through this experience, too. It's been a great way to expand my creative habits and force me to produce outside of my preferred routine. No doubt this will help in the long run.

It's also been a reminder of how important our values are. The role they play in decision-making, seasons of change and offering clarity to my family and my creative journey. And that when those values are impacted through sacrifice or loss, well, it's a reminder that they're still true and real and worth holding onto, even if the tangible practice shifts a little.

What are your core values? As an artist, as a family, a band or a community? What are the top five qualities, traits, aspects of your life and creative pursuit that you live and breath and are willing to sacrifice other wants and desires for?

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