I think it is time for all of us to go back to school. I look back on this summer and see a lot of fun times with the fam, but also a lot of lazy days. While part of me loves laziness, part of me feels guilty about being so un-industrious. I didn’t write enough, I didn’t exercise enough, I didn’t do any deep cleaning of the house as I’d planned.
I think I function better when I have more structure in my days, but every summer I plan to stick to a schedule, and then I don’t. When I’m working, I somehow get it all done. When I have down time (as in the summer), I let laundry pile up, am lazy about cooking, and surf the internet aimlessly. I’ve been thinking a lot about time management and how I can do better with that without being a time-Nazi, and in keeping with Orthodox ideas of time. (More details on that here.)
My goals are at least 30 minutes of writing every day, at least 30 minutes of exercise every day, and a few minutes of personal prayer/reflection time every day. I also would like to infuse liturgical time into our household more.
The thing is, I’m not sure I want to be one of those schedule-maniacs. I want to keep in mind that time cannot be contained or controlled, that time is a gift, and if something scheduled gets messed up or left undone due to another event, all of that is part of the gift.
And after scouring the internet for a poignant quote about time with which to close this post, I found this little gem:
One cannot manage too many affairs: like pumpkins in the water, one pops up while you try to hold down the other.
– Chinese Proverb
To everything there is a season. There are weeks I’m on top of all the housework and I even exercise 3hrs/wk . . . but we don’t do prayers. The oil lamp runs out of oil and needs a new wick . . . and it just hangs there. Then if we do prayers morning and evening, somehow the laundry doesn’t get done.
I understand how structure is important and how the endless span of a day seem so full of possibilities at 7am, but by 10pm it’s gone without anything being done. Maybe those days are good, though- maybe we need them to just BE.
On the days when it ALL happens- housework, shopping, prayers, cooking- what I lose is the ability to just sit in the floor and play with my kids. I have come to realize that I don’t care if there are dishes in the sink from two days ago- if I’m doing puzzles or legos with my kids it’s okay. They won’t remember if we had a cluttered house growing up, but they will remember if I never played with them because I was busy cleaning it. 😉 At least, that’s how I justify the mess! lol
Oh, and when I tell Nathaniel we need to clean up, he asks “Who’s coming to our house?” Oh well. 😉