My parents live an hour flight and a marginally longer drive after that away from where I do. My grandfather and aunt live about a three and a half hour drive away from where I do. In the context of distances and time this is far shorter than some families have to travel to spend time together. Yet, only once around Christmas and a couple of times during the middle of the year do I make the journey to visit them. They are wonderful people and I look forward to the time spent. Why is it that we sometimes avoid trips that are a good use of time, and instead do what might be easier but less fulfilling? Something is going on in my subconscious for sure.
In the middle third towards the latter third of my thirty three years (tomorrow) on this earth I’ve often found myself floundering for purpose. I have not worked in the same job for an extended period of time and do not find my identity within them. Playing ultimate to a high level, up to international competition level, gave me something to train towards, but I’ve realised this can damage my outlook on life as much as it aids in lifting it. Exercise is important for my physical and mental health, but being as good as the unattainably high standards my mind sets myself is not important. Home has always been a loving and welcoming place, but I have not yet found the place in which to plant deep roots. Really only in the past three years have I found what gives me life and where my identity is found: Telling stories through the written word and the beauty of music. But these things in themselves do not give me motivation. That comes from strength within, given to me by God. When I pray consistently I am drawn towards spending my time doing the things which encourage me forward.
A line from the song “You Say” by Lauren Daigle captures this reality for me.
“In you I find my worth, I find my identity.”Lauren Daigle
If I tried by my own strength to solve all the problems I find myself up against I would fail. I’ve already tried that way and know for me it leads down a road to dark feelings of depression and despair. What I must do instead is spend my time as best I can, knowing when this means to release whatever control I think I have and to keep breathing.
In terms of identifying where I spend time our lockdown in New Zealand was helpful for me. My immediate family of five; mum, dad, my brother, my sister, and me; spent time playing board games online. The facility was there before the enforced lockdown but the time spent at home encouraged this really cool use of time with my family who live elsewhere. We have continued to play boardgames every so often with mum and dad, but not as often as we should. The time we have on this earth is finite and one thing I can do better is make a more concerted effort to spend it not only over a boardgame, but maybe a cup of virtual tea and deep and meaningful conversation too.
There are many people in this world and I care about a fair few of them, trying to make time for any who ask for it. If anyone really needs someone to talk to, or just someone to sit with, whatever is in my mind evaporates away and I can be there for them. It is not my purpose to solve their problems, just as it is not theirs to solve mine, but through patient kindness we can help each other find the right path.
I’m finding that to stay healthy I must remember to orient my social circle intelligently. Value the awesomeness of my family and close friends and spend time with them whenever I can. Then, where energy permits, spend time with other friends. Saying yes to things is good! But time is finite, and we need to rest to ensure with have we the energy to do all the things we say “yes” to.
If you’ve been to my blog before you’ll know this well, but if you’re new here (welcome!) you’ll find this is something I try to live and encourage others to live out too. Choose kindness, always. This includes our attitude and actions towards others as well as to ourselves.
Keep on keeping on being awesome, friends, because you are. Peace.