Saturday, January 30, 2010

Reflective Journal

I love the book: Small, squarish and the colour of brown wrapping paper, with a black coil spine, a matching pen and a black elastic cord that comes around from the back and over the front cover to hold the pages together.

My friend Irene gave it to me. Well, actually she took it from Alicia to give to me because I think (and hope) that Alicia knew where to get another one. Anyway, I like everything about it and have been carrying it with me for a couple of weeks now, although I just used it for the first time this week.

I love, love, love, new journals. There are two others that I recently received, with beautiful leather covers; one black and one brown. They sit, pristine, on my bookshelf in the loft room, awaiting a "special" purpose--I'll know it when it comes.

My brown wrapping paper book, which was in my briefcase, found its purpose one day this week. I decided to use it for a reflective work journal. So far it has only one entry, but I intend to use it to reflect on what has gone well, or not so well; a record of things learned.

Would you like to hear what I wrote for my first entry? I read it to my team today during a conversation about time management. Since you can't say no, here it is (slightly edited:)

This week lay ahead on Monday morning, with carefully planned slots on my schedule, in order of priority. Into the middle of a 1.1 supervision meeting came the news of a serious issue.
The day unfolded, relatively as planned, but with added phone calls and emails, related to the issue.

And then this morning (Tuesday.) Already I had prioritized another 1.1 supervision meeting over a committee meeting an hour and a half away, but now the morning unfolded with added phone calls and connections that needed to be made in follow up to the matter at the same time as we all worked through the emotions surrounded it.

As lunch time approached, I glanced at the clock, thinking of 1 o'clock, when I had a video conference at another office, a good 40 minute's drive away. Meanwhile, there were other pressing priorities that had not been addressed because of the crisis we were dealing with.

The "old me" would have grabbed my committee binder and lunch, which I would have eaten in the car, on the way. I would have been ill prepared for the meeting and would have come back to my office in the late afternoon, stressed and overwhelmed with a pile of things to do. I would have had to stay late to get them done.

What I did, though, was to make a phone call and send an email, explaining that I would have to miss the afternoon meeting. I took time to have lunch and focus on things other than work. With ten minutes left of my half hour break, I sat back in my chair--a position I rarely allow myself to relax into--and I felt peace; physically; spiritually; and emotionally.

"Be still," I heard, "And know that I am God."

(Psalm 46:10 (New International Version)

I drove home at the end of 8 hours, still with one important task left to complete first thing in the morning, but having taken care of preparations for the next day's meeting and a meeting on Thursday. I knew that the most important things had been done.

I thought about the choices we are presented with in a day. Whether we are conscious of them or not, each one is important.

I'd love to hear. Do you find it easy to make the choice to say no to something?

4 comments:

Dave Hingsburger said...

Oh, I have my favourite journals too. I think they are called 'moleskin' journals. I love, love, LOVE them. If I have to write a new lecture, that's where they go. I have the book with me at all times. Lovely.

There is a saying, well, actually, no there's not - there's something I say ... Happiness is a cancelled appointment. Particularly when I am not the canceller but even, I say with guilt, when I am. That extra time even tastes great.

A wonderfully descriptive post, I could almost see you relax back into the chair ... more of those moment to you.

Joanna Mallory said...

Good lesson learned and shared, Belinda! We need to give ourselves permission to make these choices, and for that we need to stop and see the choice is there to make.

Belinda said...

Oh, Dave, I too, have moleskin journals. Irene gave me three little ones for Christmas last year and they each have their special purpose (I am SO into little separate compartments in my life! :)) I have one in my purse at all times and I jot down thoughts, scraps of conversations, sermon notes etc. I LOVE the feel and the colour of them.

Joanna, yes! Choices are there to make. It takes so long to realize that--and then to have the wisdom to make them.

Poppy said...

Dear Bel-Hmmm...when I think of Irene "blessing" you with that book I can't help but think of the phrase " ill-gotten gains." And,moving on,all those moles!!!Does PETA know?Shame....Poppy