Thinking through my life--I seem to spend a lot of time doing that lately. It's a luxury that comes with age.
There were times in my life when all I could do was put my head down and keep running. I had children to clothe; laundry to do; meals to cook; floors to scrub and a million other things that had to be done. Now there is more discretion. There is choice!
Daughter-in-law Sue came back tonight to do more painting. Tall, and string bean skinny, she walked in wearing her painting gear, still managing to look beautiful with her dark hair and striking eyes that are blue, gray or green, depending on the light.
She quickly trod on thin ice though, when she said, "Now I know for sure that you guys are old. This is the second night I've found you eating dinner on TV trays in front of the TV."
We felt compelled to point out that tonight the TV wasn't on and that the reason we were eating on TV trays was because we liked it and we can! I said, "Just wait until your kids are grown up and you don't have to make dinner and eat at the table--I bet you'll eat off TV trays too."
"Yes," she said (always one to have the last word,) "And then I'll know I'm old!"
But to get back to my original point: the thinking through of my life. I started as usual just before January 1st, taking stock. There is so much I would love to accomplish, but I know that left to chance, the urgent; the pleasant; and the delightfully distracting, will overtake the important every time. This why I began thinking it all through again.
Friends will remember that I had a colour coded Excel schedule a couple of years ago. I managed to fit every single thing into a slot on that page: writing; devotions; exercise; work; housework; sleeping; studying; volunteer work. It was with a great sense of triumph that I saw that it Could All Be Done. A short time later I wrote a blog post entitled, The Colours Bled, in which I bemoaned the fact that real life didn't unfold according to the template. My chart was far too rigid and strict and of course it was doomed to failure. It did look lovely and afforded me excitement for a while, though.
Maybe it's because I didn't just leap into it this year, but took time to think and experiment with my current template, but my days upon it look quite minimalistic. I have realized that I cannot do half the things that I thought I could in a given day or week. All along I have been setting myself up for failure and dashed hopes.
I still wonder why I can't be like some other people who seem to know without any sort of guide, how to live their lives effectively and get the essentials done. I'm not like that though. Without instructions and prompts and left to my own devices, I will wander all over the place like a fly waking up from winter hibernation.
So my life on paper has been simplified. I am harbouring a (probably vain) hope that by doing so I will suddenly out do myself and find I have time left over.
Time on my hands! Now that would be a new experience.
What about you? Is your life simplifying these days or as rushed as ever?