“it was a quick succession of busy nothings”
-Mansfield Park, Jane Austen
Well, that’s been life lately. The last time I reflected on my one little word, I talked about how it was going well so far (see the post here). My one little word is intentional–you can read more about why in this post–but the short version is that I feel as though I have a run-til-you-drop mentality most of the time, and when I finally do drop, it involves mindlessly staring at the television, not making time for what brings me joy.
This is the part where I blame the Winter Olympics for stealing my few precious hours in the evenings, yes?
Truth be told, it’s not the Winter Olympics’ fault (although that ice skating drama certainly is distracting). These last few weeks have been busy for me, the kind of busy that means my free time consists of a few minutes between activities rather than evenings or weekends to myself.
In January, I had a much easier time balancing the running around with the sitting still because I had fewer planned commitments. February has been crazy so far because of plans with family and friends, work and school activities, and a busy season for an organization I joined a few years ago. I’ve had trouble being intentional with my sporadic few minutes of free time.
Let’s face facts here: I’ve had trouble keeping my head above water, never mind being intentional! If my husband hadn’t stepped up to take over dishes in the evenings, we’d be living in a biohazard. And let’s not even talk about how my only remaining clean clothes have only remained clean because they’re what desperately needs to be ironed.
And here’s the thing: we won’t be less busy until Ash Wednesday. (Perfect timing, right? You can see why I’m already planning for Lent to be a time to “be still & know.”)
My initial thought when I reflected on being intentional lately was that I’d failed miserably, but that isn’t entirely the case. I have managed to make time for a few things that really matter to me and are helping me stay upbeat and happy during this busy time:
- An Inspired Life book club–This has been such a blessing! I look forward to Katie’s weekly posts and the discussion on her blog, and I love the Twitter parties on Thursday evenings! I’m so sad that I have to miss the Twitter party this week–yet another commitment–but I’m looking forward to catching up over the weekend.
- Reading Jen Hatmaker’s 7: An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess–I have the Kindle version, and I’ve been reading more of it on my Kindle phone app than my actual Kindle, which is not at all my norm. The reason is that I’ve been using those in-between moments for reading, and while I may not have my Kindle with me, I usually have my phone.
- PowerSheets–Whew! Thank goodness for these! It’s my first year using them, and I’m realizing that one of their greatest aspects is being just as useful in really busy times as in less busy times. Before I used PowerSheets, I wasn’t sure if they were for busy people who needed time and space to organize their goals or for people in an in-between time who needed space and encouragement to plan for what was next. I’ve been in both of those places many, many times, and I see how PowerSheets are really for anyone, regardless of where they are in life.
- This blog–When I started this blog, I knew I wanted it to be a way to hold myself accountable for focusing on seeking happiness and gratitude. I also knew that if I let the blog slide every now and then, I would let that seeking slide, too.
So that’s that. I know this hasn’t been my best month for being intentional, but I’m choosing to treat myself with grace rather than beat myself up about it. As I go through the end-of-month PowerSheets, I’m finding that I’m proud of what I have accomplished and looking forward to appreciating my less busy times.
Treat yourself with grace today, too, okay? It’s so much better than the alternative.