A short time ago, I stopped by my oldest son’s house to relay a message to him. I found him at home, standing in the living room amid mayhem. In one hand he held a plumbing tool and with the other hand he was attempting to untangle four dogs who were making a ruckus. He explained that he was trying to unclog the bathroom toilet and that he’d volunteered to doggie sit two other dogs for a friend.
Above the noise, I quickly relayed my message and then hugged him good-bye. I smiled as I walked back to my car, grateful that my home is not full of noisy dogs and that my toilet was not clogged.
No Longer Care Free
My son is no longer the carefree kid he once was. Instead, he’s become a responsible adult. He’s married, raising two kids and two dogs. He owns his own home and works at least fifty hours a week. Presently, finding time for what he likes to do, woodworking projects in his shop, is nearly impossible. Too many other obligations vie for his attention.
It wasn’t that long ago that I too had more restraints on my time. Raising three sons and domestic chores held me to a tight schedule. Planning personal pleasantries was close to nil. Still, I knew making time for just me was a necessity for my sanity as well as maintaining a cordial and civil demeanor.
I started out with small increments of time. Writing snippets in my journal before my kids woke up in the mornings or taking a quick jog around the park while they kicked a soccer ball in the field. As they grew older and more independent, I took longer jogs around the neighborhood and started writing articles for small publications. On weekends, when my husband was home, I could take longer frames of time for myself, no huge trips to the Bahamas mind you, but nonetheless, something just for me.
Recently, while out with a friend, she posed this question to me, “Why do we spend so much time on the things we don’t want to do, and so little time on the things we do want to do?”
Some seasons lend themselves to being on a short leash, so to speak. But even then, when we can make a little time for ourselves, we begin to practice the habit of nurturing ourselves. Then, when the season changes and restraints and obligations fall away, we won’t be at a loss at what to do. Instead, we will see how those little pleasantries can grow into something larger such as participating in a triathlon, or even writing a book.
Why bother spending time doing something pleasant? We can find something pleasant to do in every season of our lives and when we do, we will be more pleasant company to those who surround us.