I have to admit that, even though I knew to expect snow (a blizzard, really) this week and I realized that a number of regularly scheduled things would be closed or canceled because of it, I was still somehow unprepared for the “gift of time” that came my way.
I was all set to stay indoors, I’d gone to the grocery store, stocked up on the essentials for the week, and managed my appointments. I knew the snow was coming and that I didn’t want to be out driving in it if I didn’t need to be. But what I didn’t count on was HOW I’d use the extra time that was suddenly available to me! I entered the snowstorm week unprepared to manage my time!
When you’re a child and this sort of weather event occurs, you’re thrilled! A “snow day” is declared by the adults and you’re suddenly free to get outdoors and do all the things you love to do when there’s no school and no one directing your energy for you.
The “gift of time” can be quite disconcerting when you’re an adult! I found myself suddenly reminded of my endless “to-do” list. It is full of things that could be attacked on these unexpected days at home (if I had the energy, focus and concentration). That was overwhelming.
Of course, there’s more to do than I’ll ever get done, so just thinking about all the ways I could use my new-found time kept me from tackling even the simplest of chores. I was paralyzed by my freedom and didn’t know where to begin!
Maybe that happens to you as well. You keep a list of all the things that need your attention, and then when you discover some unexpected time available for such chores, you’re too exhausted to even begin to take them on!
I was genuinely surprised that my body-mind didn’t want to be bothered with chores as the storm began. I found myself wanting to hibernate, make another pot of coffee, find something to bake (I made banana bars) and organize things on my computer. I certainly wasn’t interested in seriously tackling chores. My body-mind made it clear that it needed rest, recuperation and warm liquids! So, for a couple of days, I followed its lead.
Why is it that we feel the need to apologize for the urge to relax and recuperate? Our body-minds have their own wisdom, and sometimes it is not only necessary but prudent to listen to what they say to us! My body-mind was saying:
- Sleep in, there are no morning appointments!
- Call a friend, connect with someone you haven’t had time to talk to for a while!
- Sit quietly, and give yourself some moments to consider your life, your priorities, your plans!
So, that’s what I did. Fortunately, as the storm continued, my resolve rallied to use the remaining days of “free time” at home to some practical advantage. I actually got some work on taxes, house-cleaning and office-organizing done! All good, including the R & R that was so clearly important as the storm began.
So, what do you do when you are given the “gift of time”?
- Do you launch into your “to-do” list?
- Do you invite the wisdom of your body-mind?
- Do you castigate yourself for not getting enough done?
- Do you whisper a word of gratitude for the unexpected gift?
There’s no right answer to this question, but it does afford the opportunity to reimagine how you might use the next “gift of time” you receive in your life. What will your priorities be? Can you stay open to the small voice inside that cries for some R & R, and give in to its needs?
I wish you the gift of unexpected time, to use however your body-mind directs you, and the blessings that come from trusting its wisdom to guide you in the best way possible!