Thursday, January 19, 2012

The One Where I Ease Up On Myself... Or Try To

Recently I read this interview on a writing blog and the author's answer grabbed me. Read it below and then I'll tell you why:

What time of day do you love best?

I’m a morning person. Not one of those productive morning people who write pages and pages before dawn, or who are out running before it’s fully light. But I love getting up early and taking my dog to the park across the street, just wandering around before the rest of the world gets busy. It’s probably the only time of day where my mind has a chance to remain quiet, and there’s no better way to wake up.

(Quoted from this interview.)

When I read the question "What time of day do you love best?" I thought I knew the way she was going to answer-- the kind of answer she was going to give. I thought that, because she is a published writer she would give the answer I was used to getting-- one that exuded her own capability and key to productivity. No matter whether she was a morning or night person-- or somewhere in the middle-- she would talk about how productive she was at those times. So I read her answer with expectation of the same old response. Perhaps I would learn something to apply in my own life!

But as you read, that wasn't what she said. While she is a morning person, she didn't wax eloquent about how she gets so much done in her best time of day. She didn't talk about her coffee routine, her proclivity towards writing a certain amount by a certain time, her schedule for answering emails or tackling social media. Instead she talked about wandering around in the park with her dog, waking up slowly and letting her creativity awaken as well.

I didn't know that was allowed.

And then I asked myself a question: Why do I need permission to wander? Why are my expectations of myself so high that I set schedules and goals and live by to-do lists and calendars, checkmarks and bullet points and long lines of black ink crossing off words? Why isn't it okay to use my best time of day to do... nothing?

I'm not sure I have any answers just yet. It's more something I'm thinking about. Sometimes I have to remember to be kind to myself. Sometimes I just need permission to wander. It's occurred to me that no one is going to come along and give it to me except me. And God, who is rich in mercy and is not up there keeping a stopwatch, shutting it off in disgust when I don't "make time." Whatever that is. I think that He rather likes this thought pattern of mine-- this idea that it's okay to wander, to wake up slowly, to take time to savor, to use my best time of day to do nothing more than to walk around and marvel at life itself, giving myself time to feel His love and soak it right up. I think He eased up on me a long time ago. He's just been waiting on me to ease up on myself. He wrote me a permission slip to wander with no date scrawled across the top. It's redeemable whenever I choose. I think I'm going to choose now.

Pin It!


Arlene @At Home with the Grimms said...

Amen Sister!!

BethA said...

Love this! I'm always rushing -- through my meals, errands, tasks at home, EVERYTHING! I don't seem to leave time or mental space for God to speak to me.

JottinMama said...

Such a healthy thing for me to read today. A time for my mind to just be quiet - oh, yes - I should make this a priority.

Thanks for sharing, Marybeth :)

- Katie :)

Sharon said...

Good stuff!!

Jill said...

This is another one of your posts that makes me so grateful for the presence of your blog in my life! I often will lie awake in bed after my husband gets up early in the morning. In January, I decided that my just lying there was a waste of time with so much to do when I was already awake anyway. After reading your post, I was able to reflect more about what that time in the still dark room huddled under the cozy covers was my time to wander. While I maybe don't need to lie there and wander for as long as I did before, that time is good for me. My long list of things to do will still be there and taking those quiet moments to just be are important.

Pam said...

Where's that love button?

Melissa Milbourn said...

now I'm stalking you.

I love this.

I have found that I need time to wake up in the morning. Just quiet time doing nothing before the family arises. And when someone interrupts me in that space i'm not very Christian like. ha.

Shelly Burke said...

What a wonderful thought--that it's ok with God if we "wander," enjoy his creation, think, wake up slowly. Thank you so much for putting it into such beautiful words! I'm giving myself permission, too. :-)