I’m not sure about you, but my list of things I have to do at any given moment of any day is about a mile long. There is always something to pick up, drop off, organize, plan for, someone to meet, something to clean, laundry to do, or someone to cart from point a to point b.
Even when my schedule is ‘clear’, there are a crap ton of other small tasks that linger – like cleaning out my fridge, finding new spring shoes, defrosting the freezer, sorting my kids clothes, etc. etc. etc.
Figuring out how to live in the land of ‘too much to do’ can be a tricky task.
This year was supposed to be one of expansive amounts of time, where I could practice the art of slowing. Instead I opened a business in my ‘spare time’ and added months of counselling to our family’s schedule.
Yet I was thinking today about how this over-scheduled year had actually taught me more about the necessity of self-care and about how to carve it out than I would have learned with generous spaces of time to myself.
This year I’ve had to learn to fight for time – and have had to learn how to carve out and enjoy time that could have been spent doing countless other things. I’ve had to fight the feeling that taking myself for a walk is frivolous. I’ve had to get over the fact that my bathroom needs a clean. Or that breakfast dishes get cleaned up at suppertime. I’ve had to learn to say no to things, even things I’d like to do, in order to create space to slow.
The jam-packed schedule left me needing air and I recognized how essential it was to create pockets of soul-nurturing space. Emphasis on the word create. Because time for self-care doesn’t grow on trees.
Maybe you’re one of those lucky folks who have family nearby who jump in to tag you out when you need a break. But if you’re not, then you’ll realize that finding time to take care of yourself in between the demands of work/friends/family/responsibilities can be a daunting task.
People don’t get to yoga because someone cleared the way. They get there because they carve out space and time. Books get read because folks forgo other activities to make time for that which nurtures their being. Self-care doesn’t just happen, it is a conscious and intentional choice.
Today I found myself with an unexpected pocket of time. Please note that my house looks a hot mess…but it’s spring in Winnipeg and these glorious (mosquito free) days are numbered. So I popped on my runners for a quick (and slightly pathetic) jog by the river.
I had to put a half hour for me above the zillion other tasks that I could do. And that can be hard.
But it’s getting easier. And the more I do it, the less it feels frivolous.
And I’m grateful. Because really, who would have thought an overfull schedule would be the very thing to help me learn how to really slow?
So, here’s to hoping that you can choose you, and that you can create some spaces in the days ahead to slow, savour, and take in that which nourishes you.