Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Time Limit



Life has been wild. The wilderness that we have experienced lately seems to all come together on a freight train of "yes's" leading up to this moment in time. The transitional stage we have entered is fast becoming one of the most transformational that I have experienced in a long while.

At some point I will share the tale of where we have been and where we are now but for tonight, I want to share a practice that we have encountered on this journey.

Joel and I have a lot on our plates at the moment. It has been common over the last three weeks that we both come home from a full day of work and sit down at our prospective computers and work 4-5 hours into the evening as the "work" still needs to be done. Two weeks of living this way sent me into a crying frenzy towards the end of the second week which has made me stop and think about how we have allowed our daily routines to be so undisciplined.

We have left no time for self care in this routine of "we have to get it all done!" It has been ages since we both have had so much to do that all other items in the life list seem meaningless because we have to get past the must's before we can feel free to do the things we enjoy. This is not sustainable, obviously.

Tonight, without consulting each other on it, Joel and I both practiced the time limit. We both worked 9-5 and then we came home. We spent an hour together when we got home, cooked dinner, ate with one another, caught up on life. We both saved personal items to take care of during that hour and did not work on them at work. Then Joel left for the library to work on his master's research and I spent two hours working on our new ministry administration.

About 9:00pm I stopped working on my computer. I just stopped. I still have plenty of deadlines to meet and much more I can work on but I stopped. I took a shower and decided that after cleaning my body that I'd clean my apartment and that would make me feel good about life. I walked across the living room prepared to fluff pillows and put instruments away when I picked up my neglected banjo. I accidentally strummed it and that sound just wrapped me in a familiar hug of comfort.

The next thing I know, I am playing banjo for about an hour before Joel comes home again. It was so pleasant and I learned an entire song that I have been meaning to figure out.

When Joel walked in he asked what I had been doing and I simply replied "I just stopped working after two hours and started playing banjo." He revealed that he had done the same thing sans the banjo.

Sometimes it is just as important to STOP working at the right time as it is to start working. I got a lot done and I could have spent my entire evening plugging in information and numbers but I didn't. I will do some more tomorrow. Tonight I can go to bed content that I didn't just spend a whole day disconnected from the moments that fill me with deep joy.

There is a time to work and a time to play...banjo.