Friday, December 26, 2014

Slowing Down

I’ve been thinking a lot about how I spend my time. When I was young I had all the time in the world. I would spend countless hours curled up by the fire reading a book, or sitting in my open bedroom window behind the curtain watching the rain fall and breathing in the sharp, cold air. I could get lost in an art project and still find time to chat with friends on the phone for hours.

I don’t know where that time has gone. What I do know is that I want to find a way to get it back.

Each day holds the same amount of hours now as it does then. What I realize is that now I have a few more distractions. Facebook, Instagram, sodoku, you name it I have it on my phone ready and able to distract at a moment’s notice. There have been too many times where I suddenly realize I have been scrolling through photos of acquaintances on facebook for several minutes and I’m not entirely sure when I picked up my phone to begin with. Netflix provides stories upon stories of fictitious lives and made up worlds that I can get lost in for hours without ever once putting meaningful effort into the lives around me and the world I live in. And sure, these activities have a time and a place, but they shouldn’t take all the time.

When I am not taking part in these leisurely activities I am faced with a long list of things I need to be doing or should be doing. There are always meals to be made, bills to pay, my room to clean, friends to visit, and another trip on the horizon to pack and then unpack for. A life of “should do, could do, need to do” is no better than a life of “where did the time go?”.

What can I do to ensure I am living a life of intentionality freedom that I can be proud of and that makes me happy? What can I do to make sure I am living a life I want to live?

I have started by slowing down a little bit. Taking out some unnecessary obligations and adding a few of the things I know I enjoy. Instead of scrolling through facebook I take that time to give a friend a call. Instead of watching another episode on t.v. I try to take a moment to journal or work out. Instead of filling my days with plans for weeks on end, I am trying to schedule blank days to do with what I will when they arrive.

But a problem I have always had is my social life. And my job has not made it any easier. I love my friends, I do. I would do anything for them, and I do. But what I forget is that in between planning a trip to visit so and so and making a lunch date with such and such, I am leaving myself no time to take care of myself. I forget to incorporate the hobbies I love. I don’t think I went hiking all summer and I definitely didn’t go camping. I can count the number of times I have been rock climbing on one hand. I have had the same journal for over 2 years, that’s how little I sit down to write in it. My paints haven’t been opened since I moved out of my sisters house and I haven’t cooked a real meal at home in probably two months.

I know life changes and sometimes we don’t have time to do all the things we used to, and sometimes we don’t want to do all the things we used. But one thing is for certain, I want to make sure that I am constantly checking in with myself and listening to my needs. I want to give myself time to be me, to do the things that make me tick. If that means saying no to a few get-togethers or just turning off my phone for a couple hours, I want to be more intentional with my time. Because taking care of myself is the best way for me to take care of you, too.