REFLECTION & ACTION: Ask people about their most satisfying experiences with time. You might be surprised by their answers. Yes, the pleasure of accomplishment-getting projects done and checking tasks off lists-ranks high. However, you’ll find that the experience of unstructured, wide-open chunks of time with no planned activities is right up there, too.
It’s refreshing to have an hour, an afternoon, or a day to putter and ramble-to go where the spirit moves you, not feeling pressured to be anywhere or do anything in particular. Think of this as white space on your calendar-a wide-open chunk of time with no special commitments or duties.
It’s a time when you could invite that new colleague for coffee and conversation or dip into the professional reading that’s been piling up in the corner of your office. You might lean over the fence and visit with the neighbors. You could play a round of Monopoly with the kids or snuggle up on the couch with your partner. You could curl up in a hammock with a good book. Or you could simply do nothing at all.
In traditional religious practice, the keeping of the Sabbath assures this recurring openness of time and space. The Sabbath is unique because you don’t earn it. It rolls around whether you’re ready for it or not.
You can build white space into your work and personal life-for rest, renewal, relationship or adventure-whether or not it’s part of your own tradition. Set a policy of an hour, an afternoon, or an evening each week as open time with no commitments. See what unfolds and develops. Soak up the joy and sense of ease you reap from the experience.
QUOTE OF THE WEEK:
“Will I remember that the hammock looked good hanging on the front porch or that the garden looked good from the hammock?” – LuAnn Brandsen
“Because my life seems to be so scheduled with deadlines and dates, I find my most satisfying experiences come when I have blocks in which time doesn’t matter-like a day I can do what I feel like doing when I want or a vacation with no structure at all. During these times, I enjoy breaking the ‘rules’ of time. If I want to walk in my garden in my pajamas at 2:00 in the afternoon, I do it, and I relish the fact that I’m breaking a ‘rule.’ If I want to build a sandcastle at 7:00 in the morning I will, and I dare anyone to tell me it’s too early to play on the beach! I’ll even work on my stained-glass project until 4:00 in the morning because it’s my time.”
– Dani V.D.
“Late one windless night, with the clear sky brimming with stars, I sat by the barbeque roasting red peppers, a relaxing, carefree release from the norm. Feeling something odd, I noticed there wasn’t a sound except the gentle hissing of the barbeque and the popping of the peppers. In our increasingly noisy lives, it was enchanting, peaceful, and somewhat scary to feel and hear the sound of silence.”
– Gregg H.