Kind Kindred : Tina : String-Ring

Kind Kindred

Tina Mansfield is the latest addition to our Kind Kindred! She’s the creator of the String-Ring, a cue to remind yourself, and those who notice it, to be kind to one another. Tina’s been a longtime supporter of Amanda & I, & we just think the world of her. We hope you do, too. Peace to you, always. — Jenn

Living a Kinder Lifestyle

The buzzword best characterizing modern society is multitasking: The performance of multiple tasks at one time. You see it as a skill requirement on just about every job posting. Working moms have this technique down to an art. I, too, was once a proponent of this mindset, believing that the maximization of your skills defined you — measured your value. I treated life as a business you invested into, and hoped that a payoff would occur later in time. The more you do, the bigger the payoff… eventually.

Well, for me, multitasking turned out to be a myth. The fact was keeping a packed itinerary with no space to breathe led to me to a dead end, not a payoff. At thirty-something, I had to admit something was wrong. My soul knew it. After accomplishing the imperative Life’s To-Do list (college, career, marriage, baby) I was left disillusioned. Associating self-worth with “doing” and over-scheduling kept me on a perpetual circuit overload. Life had lost its simplicity and kindness.

Multitasking is what a computer does, not a person. It even sounds a little ADD to me and seems to promote insensibility. Often, our contemporary way of life, always working towards a goal in pursuit of success, is not healthy or kind. We neglect our humanity for attainment, taxing the earth and body and never questioning exactly what it is we are striving for?

Quitting a full-time job to freelance part-time was my solution. The decision was difficult, and I felt like a failure. But I soon realized the trade was an upgrade in quality of life. The reduction in income made us a one-car family with nothing to spend after the necessities. Yet, we enjoy more laughter and ease in our home than ever before. And we’re cutting down on carbon emissions to boot!

It is said, “The fruits of life are found, not made.” My experience has been that if you spend all your time trying to “make” your life, you’ll miss it entirely. I’m not exactly living a Zen lifestyle, but I’ve learned my limitations. I still struggle with the guilt for not having the career I earned a college degree to pursue; old habits are hard to break. But I’m happier and more mindful of the world around me. I believe I’m a kinder person.

Now, multitasking may work for some, and that is great. But if you are overwhelmed with no end in sight, I recommend getting off the merry-go-round and back to the basics of unitasking. You just might discover a beauty and ease to life when you grant all your attention to that one person or task — an effortless kindness you didn’t experience before.

My wish for the Kind Kindred readers is a life set at your own pace in a manner that is most kind to all.


Tina Mansfield is a graphic designer, wife & mother. Her concerns about an increasingly violent and mean school climate led her to create String-Ring, The Kindness Reminder Ring. She manages a blog on the String-Ring website called Kindness Community where she encourages kind acts and shares stories that revolve around a theme of kindness.


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