Beginner's Heart

tea and palmierIt hasn’t been a hectic day, but it’s had its moments. Lots of email catch-up, including depressing stuff like querying publishers who should  have LOVED my work, and snapped it up months ago! Sigh.

There’s also the ongoing sloggery of homemaking (such a much nicer, more accurate word than housekeeping!). Laundry, dishes, straightening, changing beds, etc. Not to mention feeding the birds, the dogs, more etc.

But in the middle of all our work, every day, we need to take time. I use the verb ‘take’ intentionally: it’s not a gentle verb. Nor is time a gentle master; it masters most of us. Certainly me! I find myself begrudging the 20 minutes of my meditation, 20 minutes on the recumbent bike. The 5 minutes to fill the bird feeders, the half-hour it takes to mop so the white kitchen floor shows its true colour. And I’m retired!

My explanation is that we didn’t evolve to be nearly so darn busy, so it takes a LOT of work to stay on top of our contemporary lives. In my case, it takes 2 calendars, 3 electronic devices, AND a journal. Oh, and patience. As much patience (because things often don’t work) as effort.

The tea & palmier cookie fuel an absolutely necessary break, a ‘taking’ of time. Just for me. Yes, I spent part of it on this post. But I also fiddled w/ my new computer, learning how to change it from the default American spelling to the British lexicon of my childhood. And I listened, for a moment, to the call of an unknown bird outside, wondering if it was the yellow-rumped warbler we identified the day before yesterday. Then I had to look up the call, of course!

via google

via google

The writer in me knows how critical time is. How this taking out of my daily drudgery — however much I try to embrace it — is critical for me to breathe, to flourish. But I suspect most of you reading feel more than a little guilty about any time just for you. And yet, how else will you relax? How will you be able to hear what’s happening outside your small sphere of business?

Just yesterday I considered the following question: what would you create if you knew it would last a very long time? Here’s the catch: anything creative requires a hefty investment of time. I think making space in the day for a cup of tea (or coffee, or cocoa) and a quick bite (I recommend French palmier cookies!) just to begin thinking about it. It’s a start.

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