Are you like me? You get up and hit the ground running. You blast through your morning workout, meditation or prayer, (or maybe all three). Make coffee or tea, power up your phone, tablet or laptop and dive headlong into the day? The focus of the next 12 hours is jamming as much productivity into them as possible, then it’s whip up dinner, a few hours of quality face time with the family then drop into bed.
Between clients, classes and coffee there was so much work to be done! Homework, research, interviews, business meetings and all that goes with running a business… where was the much-needed time to think? Then a friend contacted me.
Hang out with a friend? Dare I pause amid the onslaught to enjoy a few hours away from the office?
I’m ashamed to admit that I had to weigh it.
My friend of 24 years and hadn’t connected in about six months. Truthfully, I enjoy their company, insights and wisdom. Hanging out with friends has been tougher since time is really at a premium. But at the end of my life, I won’t be wishing I did more work—I’ll be thinking about relationships that I missed out on. After that thought, I made the commitment. I try to enjoy the present and avoid regrets. Part of the reason is because “You never know” when the last time will really be the last time.
While we enjoyed catching up and after talking about all the too-much and the busy that we were doing (even though they’re retired) he dropped a great gold nugget.
“My mother used to say, ‘Plant Hyacinths for your soul.’ You probably need to take a trip.”
Wait, what? I could feel myself balking at the idea and resistance rising.
This goes back to taking time for self. That saying All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy, isn’t about being a dull Jack; It’s a dull life. It’s far too often void of the simple pleasures that nurture the soul. Even if you enjoy your work (which I do) if every minute of your day revolves around work, your life can begin feeling lackluster. But, I felt I had already scored big points in my day for taking the time to reconnect.
What does this mean for you?
I’m keenly aware that I’m in a season that is tremendously busy, but I know it’s a season. I had in the back of my mind to take a vacation after graduation (and I feel that was a nod from above!) It’s very easy to slip into a pattern of doing the same thing in the name of productivity. As a business owner, something I have to watch for is working all of the time. There’s nothing wrong with working, or being productive, but there is far more to life than only work.
The reality is that there is always going to be more work to do. You know what doesn’t last forever? The lives of the people around us (or even ours for that matter.) Babies turn into children and those children turn into adults. The fresh fruit and vegetables have a short shelf life. Flowers bud, bloom, wither, and fade. Did you enjoy the fragrance?
Beauty is fleeting and it must be savored when it is present. There are so many simple pleasures just waiting to be enjoyed by your soul—coffee with a dear friend is only the tip of the ice burg. So what about you? Do you feel guilty taking a break? How do you refresh? How often do you nurture your soul?
Find what breathes life into your soul or changes the scenery and make time for it. And maybe planting some hyacinths would be a good idea too.
Let me hear from you in comments about how you battle busyness! Thanks for stopping by.