“Do you have time to ponder?”
As I sat across from my coworker in a Zupas I had (with little difficulty) convinced her to go to for lunch, the only answer that came quickly was “no”.
I had been expressing to her that I was a little frustrated with my constant busy schedule. I am hardly ever home in the evenings or even on the weekends, constantly going from one thing to another, sometimes with multiple events in one evening. I don’t know how it happened, but over the last 6 months or so I have seen my schedule explode to the point where I have to schedule things out a week or two in advance. In fact, I already have every weekend in October booked and September has not even ended yet. I’m already exhausted just thinking about it.
Do I have time to ponder? I barely have time to eat sometimes. How did I get so busy?!
I think in today’s world, busy lives are sometimes things that get a lot of praise and admiration. A busy schedule seems to be synonymous with a full and happy life, though I have never agreed with that thought process. Over the last few months, as I have noticed every day in my calendar on my phone marked with something I have thought “Hmm, this is too much. I need to cut things out”. But I didn’t know what! My schedule is filled with all good things – dinner or dessert dates with friends, both those I see often and those I hardly see but want to stay in contact with, church activities, family gatherings, helping someone in need or preparing for one of those events. I think for a while I figured I might as well continue to do all of these things because this is the time to do them – I’m single, I have no children or anyone to be responsible to or for.
But I have no time to ponder. I have no time to do things for myself. I have no time to do other things I want to be doing more often, like playing my violin, doing family history work or even just reading a good book.
This might sound selfish – I want more time for me. I’m not unhappy. I’m actually really enjoying my life right now. But I’m tired. I’m lying in my bed right now listening to it rain outside and I feel like I could take a nap. I really think I need to make taking better care of myself a higher priority – do some things that are purely for me.
However, I have also found myself unavailable when a good friend of mine has contacted me many times over the last month. I hate that I’ve been unavailable to her. I also want time to be there if someone really needs me. Or just needs a friend.
All of this has been something I’ve been thinking about for a while but it wasn’t until this week that it hit me hard. Another friend of mine told me, “One lesson – use the word ‘no’ far more often”. That was a huge blow because I have never had a problem with the word ‘no’. In fact, I probably applied it more often than I should have in the past. I have a very “I do what I want and I don’t do what I don’t want to do” attitude, so it was strange to be receiving advice I have given to other friends many, many times.
So this is my new goal – I will make time for myself, I will say no more often and I will make the time to ponder and be still.
Friends, don’t be offended if I turn down an invitation or don’t attend something I normally would. I need to find more balance in my life right now.
I encourage all of us to do the same.