Good morning, Ladies! Hey, listen, thanks for your votes on our next topic. Fifteen of you weighed in and came up with the following line-up for future posts. By the way, Maeryn wanted to call and tell you herself -- she LOVES the phone -- but her version sounds like "ooh-de-wah -- bye bye -- ga ga doo -- daddy -- ma-ma-ma-ma all gone . . " You get the idea. So here it is from ME:
Your first choice was frustration over not being able to nurture some very important sides of yourself, which we need to pay attention to now so habits of balance and rhythm will become second nature in the future (when life gets even more crowded, if that's even possible) We'll spend time on that one first. It's actually something I'm constantly working on myself so we'll do it together.
Letting go of the past came in second so we'll do that one right after "sides of ourselves". Using social media without losing ourselves was a close third, so that will be our focus following "letting the past be the past."
All of this planning (I love planning!) makes me think about a spring blog retreat. I'm looking at my calendar and seeing that my weekends until June are literally booked and yours probably are too at this time of year. So what do you think about an early summer one, maybe just the night of June 22 (a Friday) since your summer weekends are probably full of vacations and outdoor entertainment. What do you think? Then we'll do a full fall retreat NOVEMBER 16, 17, and 18? To sweeten that prospect, there is going to be a Facebook FanPage Party sometime soon, complete with Scavenger Hunt. I know not all of you are on Facebook, but it's an option for those who are.
Okay, on to our topic!
I think for most of us the challenge is not figuring out what sides of ourselves we'd like to nurture more. We proved that in our last post, yes? We are a veritable chandelier of prisms.
The challenge is TIME.
When can we do these lovely things for ourselves when we have school, homework, activities that are going to help us get into college (and which we enjoy when we're not stressed out about them), jobs (from chores and babysitting to those 20 hours a week at Chik-Fil-A), church responsibilities, family stuff, and a social life?
We could do the old exercise where you keep track of how you spend your time every fifteen minutes for a week and then look at where you might be wasting it, blah, blah, blah. I've tried that and frankly, it takes too much TIME! On the rare occasions when I've actually completed it, I've ended up looking at it and realizing I'm not WASTING any time. Most of the time, I'm even multi-tasking -- answering business calls while I delete junk email, making the bed while I'm brushing my teeth, filing my nails while I'm waiting for the tea water to boil. Besides, a little "time-wasting" can save your sanity. When my brain is deep-fat fried at the end of the day, vegging in front of a couple of re-runs of NCIS keeps me from flushing the cat down the toilet because he's eating the daisies out of the flower arrangment.
Yet the thing is that we reponsible human beings always make time for the things we think are really important. I could also have you look at all you do and cross off five things that don't really have to be done. If you're like me (and I suspect you are) you'd have a hard time finding something that could be eliminated without somebody saying, "Uh, hello, what happened to you tutoring the fourth graders in math every Wednesday?" Honestly, if you said to them, "I gave that up so I could take a weekly hike by myself," can't you just see the eyebrows raising? That's where we get the idea that taking time for ourselves is selfish.
In my experience (and I've had to do this many times) the first thing we have to do is have a genuine shift in feeling. We have to believe that taking the time and using the energy to nurture neglected sides of ourselves is not only important, it's absolutely essential -- and it's even Biblical. That's what our first set of exercises is for.
Over the next few days -- let's say between now and Monday the 9th -- see if you can do the following. Any time you want to check in here with observations and conclusions, feel free. You don't have to wait til Monday. And, of course, as always you can run things past each other, discuss them, all that. You're so good at the rules now I don't even have to remind you what they are.
Okay, here we go:
(1) Read I Samuel 16:14-23. At the risk of sounding like a Sunday school lesson, what side of himself did David nurture that wasn't necessarily part of his job description as a shepherd? Does that speak to you in any way? Are there any other Biblical figures who pursued parts of themselves that they didn't "have to"? Martha's sister Mary comes to mind. In fact, doesn't Jesus actually say something about that to Martha? Just wondering if that has anything to do with what we're talking about.
(2) Observe yourself when you're tired from all the stuff you have to do and stressed out because you can't get it all done and cranky because there's no time for just being you. Come up with a description or email me a picture to post. Here's mine:
Selfish is pretending you didn't realize that was the last Oreo or that you're asleep so you don't have to answer one more little sister question, or volunteering to sit at the kids' table so you don't get saddled with stone deaf great-aunt Gertie.
We'll regroup Monday. I think there's going to be a lot to talk about!
Blessings, my friends,