Efficiency and Connection

By Catherine Lowrey - 03/26/2020


I was visiting a nursery with my family, exploring what plants we might like in our yard. I am not exaggerating when I write that we looked at over 100 plants. I made sure that fact was known as I let out a frustrated sigh when my family members stopped short of the exit to check out one more. My uncle stopped to bend a flower to my husband’s nose- literally stopped to smell the roses- and I realized how I was the one who lost sight of the goal.

Efficiency is the ability to achieve a goal without waste. Efficiency is a prized talent in our fast-paced world. It saves us time, makes us money, pleases our bosses, and gets our dreams accomplished. I would not have many of my life’s successes without my efficient approach.

Relationally, a goal to be efficient can create a pressured, transactional nature to relationships. I do not want my family members to feel rushed to communicate their ideas. I do not want those around me to feel the pressure of having to express their emotions so concisely, for subject matters to be closed and off the docket, to feel like they’re another one of my checklists. What I ultimately seek is to enjoy my time and space with others and have them feel relaxed enough to enjoy it with me.

So, I must make peace with the fact that I need to leave efficiency out of my relationships. My relational goal is connection, and there is no wasted time, effort, or energy in connection.

I will leave with a quote from Winnie the Pooh:

Piglet sidled up to Pooh from behind.

“Pooh” he whispered.

“Yes, Piglet?”

“Nothing,” said Piglet taking Pooh’s paw, “I just wanted to be sure of you.”

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