I use an app on my phone for writing to-do lists. It was part of my New Year’s Resolution this year and I’ve found it really helpful in organising my life. The problem with it is that often it feels as though my life is being controlled by this little tick list on a little electronic device that is never more than a few metres away from me and without which I simply cannot function.
This summer (which seems like a distant memory now), me and my list had a wonderful time. At its longest I think the list only had 3 items on it. We didn’t do any planning, we didn’t have any responsibility, we didn’t have to change rotas, we didn’t enter dates into diaries and wonder how we would manage all the clashes and I actually sat on the sofa more than once and read a book for a whole evening. Something that is usually only reserved for snatches of 3-4 minutes here and there.
This really made me think. How do I want to live my life? My every day, normal, getting up and going to work life. Holidays are beautiful, refreshing flashes of light and they are so important for keeping the mind, body and soul functioning and flourishing. But I got to thinking how I bring that spirit of resting and being refreshed into normal life.
There was a Twitter campaign a few months ago entitled ‘I’m not busy’ aimed at precisely what I’ve just described. If I’m honest, I scoffed at it a little bit when I saw it because I thought to myself: it’s ridiculous to have a campaign about not being busy. If you’re too busy then do something about it, don’t just go around saying ‘I’m not busy’. But the lovely weeks over the summer have made me retract my thoughts and words. I am too busy, or at least I don’t take care to rest and relax enough in between the things that I do.
And so I am resolved, and over the past 2 or 3 weeks I have made myself take the time to have a bath, or read my book. It feels a little bit like I’m now organising relaxing time into my lists and schedules, but I am reminding myself that resting is important. Actually, I don’t think that. I think resting is vital. Our minds, our bodies and our spirits need time and space to rest and relax.
I can’t guarantee I’ll be very good at it, but I think I’ve come to a place where I have realised how important it is to try and be good at taking the time to be me and for me.
“Come to me all who are weary… and you will find rest for your souls.”
The Bible: Matthew 11:28a and 29b