I read Girlfriends in God every morning (thanks to Lindsay for recommending it!!) and there were two recent passages that really struck home for me. (even if you are not a ‘religious’ type, these devotionals are so good and so right-on almost every single day. Worth a read, I promise!) They both have to do with time and this is a post I have been wanting to write for a couple of weeks, but alas, needed the time to put some thought into it, ironic, isn’t it? (I started this post on my last flight home – plenty of time!)
This passage is what really resonated with me, when it comes to time, priorities, and what’s really important:
We have either forgotten or failed to realize the truth that our minutes, hours and days are precious commodities — gifts from God that can be unwrapped only once…A busy life is not necessarily a productive life.
The author goes on to say that we should choose one day to plan the week (vs. me – who tries to plan, overplan, and plan some more – almost to my detriment, being overplanned and overthinking every plan I have made, throwing me into an OATTing tizzy. A tiring combination).
She also says ‘simplify and eliminate’ – this is something I have learned and keep trying to do more of this. It’s about prioritizing and more importantly, keeping some of that time FREE, not booked to the minute. M always jokes that I plan every minute of our time together. And he’s right. I tend to do that and then it’s just not as fun when I feel like we’re rushing around and not actually enjoying WHAT we planned to do. The picnic we had recently was a perfect example of a plan that was not planned. Something we did with no ‘end time’ in sight. Just for as long as we wanted. We laid in the grass, my head on his chest and just watched the clouds drift through the blue skies.
And finally, THIS is what truly says it all:
If we don’t set priorities — others will. Time thieves will steal our time as we allow them to impose their plans and standards on us. It is so easy to lose focus and scramble priorities.
As I just finished up what feels like a whirlwind 6 weeks of traveling (3 work trips in those 6 weeks!), kick-starting barre n9ne teaching, and a really hectic couple of months of work, I am taking a minute to hit the reset button. Summer is ALWAYS notoriously busy. And, with all fun things, for the most part. Lots of parties, cookouts, Maine, (maybe) the Cape, and more (fun) travel. But with a busy summer can also come that blur of where-did-summer-go and ‘did I even enjoy it as much as I possibly could?‘ feeling. Because, having a busy life, while GOOD, can also have a way of stealing joy out of those times. Just by nature of time, and lack thereof. (at least for me)
And the final kicker that I NEED to really think about time and priorities? When it took THREE WEEKS to plan a sister dinner, and one that almost got canceled last night at the last minute (where we then realized that if we didn’t keep to our original plan, it was at least another two weeks until we could book our dinner again…for sisters that all live within 20-30 miles of each other? That is simply wrong.). And that sister dinner we had last night? One of the best nights we’ve had together, just us, in a very long time. A dinner we now vow to do on the first Tuesday of every month (hold us to it, ok?!).
So, this is me. Stopping. Thinking. Prioritizing. And keeping time open. Because sometimes, the best things happen when they are unplanned. As a matter of fact, I’m pretty sure the BEST things happen when they aren’t planned.