Lately I have been thinking more about my time. We are each given an allotment of both time & energy and although we are certain that it will end, we don’t know when. When I look back on my life what will I wish I did more of? What does ‘success’ look like for me? Will it be more important to me to that I pressed into this challenging situation rather than hiding behind my self important to do list? Do you know?
I think I used to think that it was about traveling the world, going on adventures, saying yes to as many things as possible. And while this still holds some truth, lately my perspective is shifting. I am learning that what I really want my life story to be about is how well I loved those around me. Sounds simple, right? Well the more I look at my life through this lens, the more I realize how much room there is to grow. I’m finding that this is MUCH harder than it sounds.
I am finding that this means setting down my to-do list, my own agenda and being present with those around me.
It means seeing sitting quietly when I want to be moving and playing with my children when I want to be completing tasks.
It means spending more time with my grandparents even when scheduling is difficult and I can’t go to my yoga class this week.
It means remembering the things that are happening in my friends and families life and sending that text or making that call even when I’m tired and just want to go to bed.
It means taking the time to talk through a conflict instead of just distancing myself.
It means really listening.
Not just to the squeaky wheel but listening even the whispers.
It means living in a smaller house and cutting other items out of our budget so we can work less and have more time together as a family.
It means building a budget that gives to our church and to others even when it feels hard.
It means making choices in this moment that reflect the bigger story of what I want my life to be remembered for rather than what would feel good right now.
I am finding that my true success lies in how connected I feel to the people that matter to me at the end of each day. This takes real sacrifice of me and my plans and my individualistic streak.
Here’s the truth – I am a natural introvert. I like quiet mornings and reading books. I refuel my energy by being by myself, reflecting, journaling, visiting with a close friend, talking about things that matter. Oh how my time for these things has evaporated since having my two little boys!! While I have certainly become less selfish since having children, in some ways I feel like I have become more. My ‘free time’ is not free. I must cram all the things I used to love to do, that fill my tank and make me feel like me, into such a smaller period of time than ever before and I have found this makes me feel VERY protective of my time. And yet I find myself asking myself how does this fit with my goal of loving others well? Aw, here in lies the rub…
Each moment provides opportunity for reflection, choice, surrender. I am being stretched, molded into a more beautiful, loving version of me. It involves having faith that God will provide me with the strength and time and energy I need for me when I put His commandment to love others well first. It’s a journey and one that I am working hard to walk as authentically and with as much grace as possible. What about you? What do you want your life story to be about? What are you trading your time & energy for? When you think about reaching the end of your life, will you feel you have made the right choices?