After a week of not writing, on Thursday of last week I pulled out my laptop and jotted a few words down. Unfortunately, nothing I loved. On Friday, same thing. A few words here and there, but I wasn’t in love. On Sunday I couldn’t stay inside – the weather was just too gorgeous. Sunny. Breezy. So, I created an “office” outside, and this is what I wrote…
The house is completely filled with fresh air as it blows through the open windows. I walked through the open backdoor to face the grass. It is a perfect day to write outside. I grabbed the essentials and setup shop in a spot where the sun could hit my shoulders. A blue-white striped beach towel. My notebook and a blue pen. One laptop. And one book in case I decided to break for a few minutes. One puppy is laying a few feet away from me baking in the sun as the other pup is intrigued by the noises of a nearby cricket. He is chasing after something he may never catch. This is my Sunday afternoon.
I know quiet moments tend to worry others, but for me it is where I notice the details. It is where I find peace.
And that simple Sunday afternoon was the inspiration for this post.
The past few days I have avoided actually sitting down, grabbing my notebook or laptop, and writing. Writing about life and areas that inspire me and what I have been up to lately. It feels silly yet honest to write that first sentence. I have avoided writing. Something that I love and enjoy. Something that brings me peace I have avoided. We often find ourselves faced with activities we know we should do because we enjoy them. Yet when faced with the long to-do lists on our plates, we avoid the enjoyable for fear of wasting time. That idea sums up my last few days.
The concept of skipping activities that relax you to gain a few minutes here and there. Thinking as though those extra few minutes will make or break you. When in reality those few minutes won’t make a difference.
Whenever I get busy, I tend to fall out of my writing routine. I skip one night of writing to catch up on whatever it is I am trying to catch up on and before you know it one night turns into three days. Then five days. Then one week. This happens to me with writing and also with praying.
I pray every morning (usually). A few minutes each day. Something short and sweet. A few words that help me start my day. Without a doubt, a busy night will happen where my timing changes during the week. I wake up the next day a little late (i.e. rushing to get out the door to make it to work on time and missing my usual prayer time), and my whole day feels thrown off. Missing one morning here. And before you know it, I missed a whole week of doing something that actually prepares and preps me to handle the hours ahead with grace and acceptance.
It happens. Tired happens. Busy happens. Life happens.
But what I have learned is that those moments are the most critical. The moments when you need to stop and relax. Those minutes are crucial time because it is during that time you find peace. And clarity. You relax. You clear your mind and stop thinking. You smile and laugh. Life becomes less in those moments.
If I could share any advice with the twenty-two year old version of myself, the one who just graduated college and was knee deep in developing a daily routine with work and life and balance, I would tell her to fight to figure out what is important to the balance of your life and when those minutes will come into play each day. Those few minutes where you can breathe, prepare, and relax. Take the time to figure out what makes you happy (like early morning belly scratches for your sweet pup) and what makes your life easier (like packing a lunch and a workout bag the night before so your mornings run smoother). Hold tight to those few minutes each day as they set you up for success. Those moments tend to put a smile on your face and set your day off in a good mood. And who wouldn’t benefit from that.