Leaves fall, summer has left, and jewel-toned scarves slowly surface from boxes long neglected during the height of sunshine season. Time, as usual, has escaped us, and in rare moments of breathing room, I contemplate: “what has happened? where has time gone?”
Intentionally, I slept in this morning, allowing my body and my spirit to catch up with the swift movements of my days. My eyes flickered just after 10:00am and as I cracked my toes from a deep slumber, I realize it’s my first Sunday home alone since….well, I can’t even remember. I curl back in bed with a warm cup of coffee, a bowl of warm oatmeal and banana, and, of course, my notebook. I want to soak up the stillness of this time for as long as I can.
Weekends have guided me through Texas plains, Aspen mountains, rugby pitches, Silverthorne hikes, brunch with old friends, and cozy couches as I’ve offered my dog sitting services. Bouncing around, living life like the quick turning of pages in a delectable book, I have lost any semblance of routine that it took an entire summer to build.
Certainly, my days are far from regurgitated sameness – on any given weekend, I might be farming, exercising, watching football, or baking. You never really know. Still, as I’ve become better about creating structure in my work-flow from Monday to Friday, I’ve also added markers for rhythm: things like, morning work-outs, evening walks, Sundays at church, and most importantly, daily morning time set aside for journaling, prayer, and devotion.
All of these have been essential as I’ve practiced what it means (and looks like) to work effectively, hard, but also with a heck of a lot of balance. Earlier in the year, I struggled with this a lot. Working remotely provides great freedoms and flexibility. However, if you fail to find boundaries, you might find yourself working from bed far too much, or worse yet, in isolation. A continual mindfulness is required when so much of your day can be autonomously determined. I’m proud of the balance I have struck. And yet, the end of summer and early fall has slipped away, and the benchmarks that I’ve established to bring rhythm to my life have fell by the wayside.
I’ve acquiesced to the tides of time, even forgetting the number of the day or the context for the week.
Busyness is not always inherently bad, but it does become problematic when we are robbed of the ability to recognize the present moment. Routine is essential in this way – in my experience, if you build your life with both room for expectation and spontaneity, you are full alive. Yet, when time just keeps slipping away, it can feel like you cannot exist in the experiences you are a part of.
I took time to delve back into scripture this morning. Space give us time to think. To reflect. To ask hard questions. To offer gratitude. To rest. I needed this immensely.
The beautiful part though, I think, is that we don’t have to feel guilty when we feel far from the things that nourish us. Instead, there’s always an opportunity to return, to re-calibrate, and that will do much more for us than guilt ever could.
We could design our life with schedules that are rigid and focus on “what we do.” We could. However, in a return to this space, I realize our life should be lived more from our heart, and the orientation of our love towards God, ourselves, and others. Doing doesn’t guarantee peace. I could engage in time for morning prayer every single day, but if I’m doing it out of obligation – and not love- than my practice is fueled more by religious expectation than with a real kind of desire in my heart. Relationship implies sacrifice and commitment, but if we do things simply because we think we have to, we will hardly be living a grounded kind of life.
Time has slithered by, and I confess that I’ve hardly noticed. Busyness can numb us – but not forever. We can choose the way we live our day. Days, it turns out, become weeks, and months, and years. Small choices make a difference. I hope to practice my life with a bit more intentionality, even in these seasons of busy, busy, busy things. Intentionality doesn’t mean doing nothing. Actually, I think it means choosing to approach our schedules and days with an awareness about what we are doing – and why. Whether it’s work, or church, or family, or fun – why are we doing what we are doing? Do I need rest? How can I take it?
Maybe it’s time to say “no.” Maybe it’s time to say “yes.”
It’s different for everyone.
But, at the end of the day, we all have the same amount of time.
The question is,
What will we do with it?