I am a person who will happily put down whatever I am doing to help others. No matter how small or big the thing they are asking for help with, I will offer my time and whatever expertise I can. This is something that gives me energy more often than it expends it, but it is not always the best choice. Sometimes there are things in my own life which need to come first.
Like procrastinating by spending time on a different productive task than the one I had intended, spending time helping others is a good use of time but is not spending time on myself. And setting aside time for things I enjoy is not something I readily let myself do. And if I manage to set time aside to read a book, play video games, play my guitar and sing, or sit and enjoy the sunshine, I seldom feel like I’ve earned that time. My mind is ticking away thinking things like, ‘But what if I spent this time editing?’ Or ‘Why am I not doing that strength workout?’ Or ‘Watching TV? Really? A waste of time!’
I am not someone that has managed to organise my time perfectly …yet. but I am someone who works at improving the way I use my time. Rest is a valid use of time, and it is important we choose to rest when we need it. Time away from heavy thinking and trying to solve all our problems. Recreation, in more than one sense of the word, helps us guide our soul back to being prepared for more hard work. Without ultimate frisbee I would not be as fit, and I may not choose to take the stairs every time I have to go up or a down a floor. Without my guitars I would have one less way to capture the creativity that bursts out when I least expect it. And without wonderful books to read, my desire to learn new things and share stories may not exist.
These are all things which help numero uno: me! They are also ways to connect with others. Music brings people together and provides a way to express emotion, both while listening and playing our own. Writing things down gives a way of sharing with each other when we may not have the words to say what we need to out loud, at least at the time. Putting words on paper can also help us see the solutions to some of our problems, when in our mind they seemed terrifyingly obscure. I often find this type of honesty when writing. Whether it’s a story, a blog post, or a conversation with God, the act of writing the words draws deeply from the well within my soul. Sometimes it’s not what I want to hear but what I need to hear.
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Thinking back over the past month, have you taken enough time to do the things that recharge your batteries?
Do you say ‘no’ to things, when it is the right decision to make?
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None of us have all the answers for all the problems. Sometimes the only question we need ask ourselves is, ‘What have I done for myself today?’
On a good day for me, the answer will include, ‘read something, write something, sing something, engage in meaningful conversation, and pray.’
No one else is a better you than you. So go be the best you that you can be.