After a good but busy weekend (and a good but busy month doing 31 Days), Brooklyn and I are taking the day off from lists and errands and staying home. There will be plenty to do tomorrow, and the day after, and the day after that, to prepare for a roadtrip the day after that, but today there is nothing that has to be done (except my laundry, as I'm on the verge of a Situation in terms of underwear supply and my only clean pants are a pair of orange plaid flannel PJs).
After everything that I learned from doing 7 for 31, I didn't want to just go back to being how I was before --- so I chose a one-word focus that I'm going to apply to at least the next few months (possibly more): simplify. "Simplify what?" (I do better with vague verbs than detailed lists, myself). Everything. We make things so much more complicated, more involved, and just plain more than they need to be. And as a result, we're exhausted, distracted, and stressed - completely unnecessarily.
An example of simplify in action: on Saturday, Adam's parents spent the morning at our apartment with Brooklyn so that Adam and I could have a few hours of just-us-together. My tendency would normally be to try to stuff as much productivity and relational bonding into that few hours as possible, infused with a sense of near-desperation that would most likely ensure that it would not be an enjoyable experience for either of us.
But instead, we had coffee at a local cafe. Just sitting, and talking about various things, and sipping our hot drinks, for a couple of hours. And it was deeply refreshing. Sometimes it's nice to just be. I forget that...
I think the simplicity is part of what makes my lunchtime quiet time so restorative - a quick, uncomplicated, satisfying meal and as much time as I have available (be that 15 minutes or an hour) without a list or much of an agenda. For the month of November, I have added one thing to the praying/reading that's a part of that... Ann Voskamp issued a challenge to count 1000 gifts in 30 days. So I'm taking a midday pause to start counting for the day (I'm no good at writing as I go) and then finishing up in the evening.
We'll be doing some traveling this month, and I get to teach a knitting class at church, and Sprout's room still isn't quite ready, but stressing takes all of the joy out of things, so I'm trying to remember to read between the lines on my own to-do lists, and find the rest that lies in the empty spaces between tasks.
Heading into a busy holiday season, how can you find moments to pause in your own life?