I really do.
I write and preach first to myself.
(The only way I know how to do it!)
And then hope my musings and my questions resonate with others.
I try to not ask others to consider or to do what I am not willing to do myself.
But, one place (among many, I am sure) where I fall short is with this commandment.
Remember the Sabbath and keep it holy.
I am not talking about Saturdays or Sundays, but about sabbath time.
Time set aside when I allow myself to just stop.
To just rest.
To just be.
I am much better at doing.
At filling the moments I have with the demands of my list.
Only to arrive at this moment,
Which is here now and never again,
Make a List of What Makes You Happy and Put It Next To Your To Do List.
Even though I didn’t read the article something must have sunk in because for the past several days I have been plowing through my To Do list like I always do, but I have also been paying attention to those things which make me happy. Or more accurately, those things that add depth and meaning to my day. Here is what I have noticed. There are many things that just have to get done (my To Do list), but if I can both make sure I carve out a few moments each day for those other things and then pay attention to them, I feel better. I am more at ease with myself and with others. I smile more. In the past week those moments have run the gamut from watching my dog run merely for the joy of running to working with others to provide a scholarship so a high school senior can pursue her dream of going to college to going down to the basement to work on a piece of furniture which I am building.
But maybe I am learning.
Lately, I have become more aware of this about myself.
I am really good at plowing through my To Do list.
One task done.
On to the next.
The good part of that is, for the most part, my days are full and busy and I keep on top of those tasks I am supposed to get done. At least those tasks which make it onto my list.
But, the bad part?
The bad part is that when I just plow through my list I am not very creative.
There is not the time or space for new ideas or new insights or new anything.
I have been paying attention to what happens when I go on my daily run.
The first half of my run is focused on getting my body and my breathing in sync.
Then, once they are, my mind becomes free to wander.
I find myself remembering things I had forgotten.
Problems that were insolvable when I was sitting at my desk plowing through my list suddenly have a solution.
New ideas push their way to the surface of my consciousness.
I have noticed I have similar experiences when I have taken walks this fall.
What I am learning (slow learner that I am) is that I get a lot of things done when I am focused on my list, but if that is all I do I am not at my best.
All of which makes me also wonder about our children.
There lives are at least as full as mine.
(And, your life is full too, I would guess!)
After school activities.
Our children have an abundance of opportunities and each day get a lot of things done.
But, are they also like me in that while they check off all the tasks on their To Do list, little time is left with nothing to do which is the time which creates the space for new ideas and for imagination to take hold and for dreaming?
All of us, including (maybe even especially) our children, have a lot of practice and skill at being busy. Maybe what we need to practice setting aside time when there is nothing scheduled and nothing to do and seeing what happens and what difference it might make. Maybe our imaginations will run wild!