The Gift of Time
In September, I had a week where I was on call for work (a new phenomenon for me) and had to stick close to home so that I would be able to make phone calls if needed. At first I felt this was a huge infringement on my time. Seriously, I had to always be within 15 minutes of home or work. Granted, I could make a phone call or two from my cell phone, but the amount of information I needed to record and disseminate was difficult to do if I was out and about. At first this felt like dark clouds hanging over my head.
My husband went to the store with me in case I had to leave mid-trip. (I never like leaving a cart of groceries abandoned in the store!) I limited how many trips I took to the store. My bike rides were 15 minutes out and back. We didn’t go hiking or do any other activities on the weekend.
As the week progressed, I found an unexpected and surprising benefit to this situation - the gift of time.
When I wasn’t running around doing errands, I had time. When I wasn’t thinking about the errands I needed to do, I had time. I still was able to go biking, just shorter distances, which gave me time for other things. I hunkered down at home, and found out that I had time I didn’t think I had in my life.
Wow, this was not what I expected. This week that I resented was actually giving me a present so to speak, like the sun providing an unexpected break in the clouds.
What would happen if I employed this same philosophy to the rest of my weeks? Well, I did just that. Over the next few weeks I not only consciously tried to limit my trips outside the house, I also looked at using my free time wisely. Pockets of time became available to me that I didn’t think I had.
After dinner, I chunk of time that usually gets eaten up by who knows what, actually afforded me an hour to quilt and a half hour to do yoga or other exercise. Hmmm, that really is pretty good. In that hour of time for quilting, an idea that I had been struggling with for a year, suddenly bloomed and I felt I was on a roll.
Weekend afternoons opened up as well. The gift of time not only allows us to feel like we have time to do the things we want, but it reduces stress in our lives. Just like reducing our possessions helps us create an open, calm home, reducing our extra running around/errands, opens our breathing room and lessens stress.
While I wish I could say that I kept this practice up since then, life ebbs and flows. I did have a few good weeks, and then some things arose in life that needed my attention. I’m tilting into that, and this coming week I should be able to tilt back to the extra time. Just knowing that that time can be there is a beacon in stormy waters.