Make Time for What is Important

Yes. And show up and do the work. Both.

The puzzle of my life is how to do both. Two weeks have gone by since my last post. I’ve been shoveling a lot of snow. That is not a good excuse. There is always going to be something that is unexpected and needs to be done.

jigsaw puzzle pieces and a drawing of jigsaw puzzle pieces
The pieces of my life don’t always fit together nicely.

As I was shoveling, I did a lot of thinking and wondering why I write this blog. When I started I thought it might be a way to earn money doing something enjoyable and worthwhile. After doing more research, I decided against putting time into that aspect of blogging. I still enjoy it and I still think it is worthwhile. I decided one post each weekend is a good routine.

"Begin One Way" street sign and sunrise behind snow covered trees
Begin one way, maybe change directions later, but at least you’ve begun.

Last weekend I could not decide on a topic. I started two drafts: “Make Time for What is Important” and “Why I Go to Church”. I did not finish either of them. Wednesday morning I got the news that the worldwide organization of my church rejected the LGBTQ+ community. I was deeply disappointed. More than disappointed. I was emotionally wounded and had a hard time getting myself to work that morning. I just could not believe that my church would be exclusive and I was worried for my local clergy that would now be forced to make difficult choices about their careers. All of us who attend that church will need to make difficult choices about whether to stay or go. Thanks to the people at work who talked with me that morning. It helped me get back into the mindset that was required for my job.

Somtimes it is hard to choose a direction.

Walking Saturday morning just after sunrise I was struck by the beauty of the snow that had caused me so much difficulty all week. Friday night we received another five inches or so of light powdery snow that was wonderful to walk through in tall boots. It had no weight at all. Walking over areas of plowed snow was more difficult, but that was fine with me as well. I experienced a nice contrast of easy and difficult walking.

cross country ski tracks and sunrise behind snow covered trees
Light powdery snow is wonderful for walking.
I always try to avoid putting boot tracks in the ski trail.

I am drawn to images of choices and changes in direction lately. There are choices to make at church, at my job, at home, with my art and with this blog. They are all choices about how to spend my time. Every choice I make means there is something else, also important, that I am choosing not to do. Decision fatigue is very real for me. Sometimes I waste time because I cannot choose.

two trees: one snow covered and in sunlight. the other is plain bark and in shadow. contrast
How did the snow end up on one side of one tree and the other side of the other tree?
Mystery.

I tried a new way to motivate myself to be productive: I set a timer for 8 hours. When I was working on my to-do list, I let the timer run. When I took a break, I paused the timer. When the timer ran out, I gave myself permission to stop for the day. A guilt-free evening of watching shows with my daughter was my reward. That method worked well for me. I think for weekdays the amount of time on the timer will be different, I will need to figure that out. (More decisions. Ugh. Must not let it get me down.)

Part of that time I made art using the snow. The main idea here is changing directions.

Why just shovel when you can use that time to create something fun?

More about my snow labyrinth in my next post.

Do you also sometimes realize that the thing that was causing your frustration can also be the thing that points you toward finding beauty in life? I’d love to hear about it.

6 Comments

  1. I have been working on a choice for the past few weeks. Since I hadn’t been getting enough work at the college to meet my financial needs, I found a part-time bookkeeping job. My idea was 15-20 flexible hours a week. However, after working at this job for a few weeks, I realized that the employer really wanted me everyday, all day. So my decision is to (1) give up on the college. I really enjoy the teaching and my time is flexible, but I need more money (2) give up on the part-time job. I have been feeling guilty about leaving this job at noon, even though this was our arrangement. Also, I need to be gone one Thursday/Friday each month for my Public Education Commission obligations. This is a disappointment to my employer. (3) keep up both positions and let the consequences fall as they may. The teaching schedule varies from semester to semester. One day I talked to my employer about this. Her only comment was that I needed to do what was best for me. I cannot decide what is best for me.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I wrote a pretty long comment a little while ago. I must have done something wrong, because I do not see it now. So, if you want to know about my difficult decision, you will have to call me.

    Like

      1. Thanks for the comment, Hermitinthedesert. It was in the spam folder. Not sure why but it is found now and at the top of the comment thread. I hope you are able to discern which road is going to be the one to give you the most joy and job satisfaction.

        Like

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