My mom was very creative, extremely talented and had good taste. She sewed tents and prom dresses, made art from nature, sugar easter eggs with intricate scenes inside, decorated cakes and much more. I learned to appreciate how focused Mom could be on her craft amid piles of laundry and dishes. She would not allow housework to interrupt her flow. She knew the value of time away.
I don’t mean to brag but I feel like I have plenty of time on my hands for quiet moments. I intentionally take time. The need for housework doesn’t distract me, the need for yard work doesn’t distract me, paperwork deadlines don’t do it. While I “sharpen the axe” and ponder on all things big, work and projects pile high. Only then does it all become a distraction and all at once! It is hard to maintain a balanced life. Here is a quote worth repeating:
“How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives.” Annie Dillard
I was employed in wholesale sales and manufacturing for most of my earning life. When I showed up at 8 AM I knew exactly what to do and was creative at finding more to do when work slowed down. Being in an office with the continuous flow of words and numbers is like working on a thousand piece puzzle without any anxiety over chores gone undone. I loved my work. Keeping up with domestic life after an eight hour day wasn’t so hard. You know what they say, “A body in motion stays in motion.” Life was good.
Within 13 months everything changed: I lost my husband to cancer, quit my job, sold a house, moved a thousand miles, then moved again. The stress was hard on me physically so I was glad to find a daycare for Anna and some respite for me. I spent a lot of time resting, reading, praying, and doing nothing. I got better but repeatedly delayed my plans to reenter the work force and lost the satisfaction one gets after a day of helping the world turn efficiently. I discovered I was and still am totally undisciplined about managing my own, uncommitted time. Lord hear my prayer.
As it turns out, I came to Portland and accidentally retired. James says that God is the source of all the things I crave, so please God know this: What I crave is to be 100% accountable for precious time spent as I take pleasure in many simple things: smells, bells and today, an hour in the sun. Life is good.