Friday, March 23, 2012

The Days are Slow, but the Years are Fast

At a young age, my Dad drilled into me the importance of forming good habits early. So I pretty much took that daily planner and ran with it. Now, as an adult, I still have many of these early-learned habits:
-Exercise. Every day.
-Drink 75 ounces of water.
-Eat 7 servings of fruits and vegetables.
-Make a list of the days activities.
-Complete the list.
(I know what you're thinking, I'm so cool right?)
-Get 8-9 hours of sleep.

Some people say I have so much will-power. I just think I have too much crazy.

I was thinking about this on Wednesday. I had a whole day to do whatever I wanted in Washington D.C. After speaking at Washington Adventist University for chapel, I set out on an adventure for the new Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial in D.C. Long story short, three hours later, I gave up (a.k.a. got lost) and went to IKEA instead. In fact, I went to Old Navy. Just because. I bought myself an ice cream. I even considered going to be Barnes and Noble (but let's not get too crazy!).

I had a whole day where I didn't really need to do anything. There were no rules. Sure it was a week day, but I was kinda, sorta on a mini-vacation. I purposefully didn't plan to get things done because I didn't know if I would have time that day. I so enjoyed having no schedule. No commitments. No to-do lists.

The funny thing is, back in reality (i.e. Nebraska), I don't work much. I take sub jobs when I can, but many of my days are pretty open. You'd think I'd be having the time of my life. Taking full advantage of the wide-open schedule and lack of work. And yet, I often feel stressed and anxious that I'm not getting enough done and get really frustrated when I don't.

Here's the lesson I was reminded of (again): Peace and joy are available to me twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. I can be happy when I'm healthy or sick. Whether I'm in Nebraska or in Hawaii. My life is my fault. So is my stress level. No one can make me feel any way I don't want to feel. So whether or not I choose to take advantage of calm, it's always there. Waiting. Patiently.

Sometimes, it feels like the days run away from me. I get overwhelmed with all the things to get done. I suck (let me repeat: suck) at making time for joy. I am a rock star at productivity, and a lemming at fun.

I want to schedule in an afternoon at Barnes and Noble.
I want to schedule in time at a coffee shop to just read a book I want to read.
I want to sleep in.
Or watch a movie.
Or waste time on-line.

In the past I've not done these things or made them a priority, but in the near future, I will.

I'm writing it in my planner right now: make time for joy.


kessia reyne said...

I recommend this to your reading :)