As an achiever, Enneagram 1, ENTJ or whatever else box my personality supposedly checks, I have a tendency to drift towards Getting. Things. Done.
In this season of quarantine, I’m finding myself drawn towards the projects and to-do lists and annoyed with what disrupts my flow or keeps me from doing what I want.
Mainly, that would be the four little souls I’m charged with raising.
That sounds far holier than it usually feels on a given day. Mainly, it feels like a lot of dishes and meal prep and diaper changes and trying to break up fights because the walls are closing in on all of us and, is it just me, or is it starting to feel a bit like The Shining?
And maybe you too keep seeing everyone saying, “Don’t waste this time! Get all the projects done! Write that book, start that business, go, go, GO.”
Maybe that fires some up, but it’s leaving me feeling frustrated and discontented and a whole lot of not-nice-mom. Because when the whole world went on lock-down, I didn’t get more time. I got less. And yet everywhere I look, people are screaming to make sure this time counts, marking the worth of time by the lists checked off.
This is not a competition, people.
What IF not wasting this time looks like doing LESS in order to be MORE present?
Present to the people we’re shut-in with? Present to the upheaval of hearts and routines and emotions? Present to the pain and stress and suffering of so many who are just out of reach?
What if getting all the things done means letting go of the lists and trying to do one main thing, like love our people well? It may mean the house stays messy (who is going to stop by and see it?) and dinner is popcorn, apples, and cheese (yes that counts. You’re welcome) but everyone goes to bed smiling rather than emotionally wrung out.
What if this season isn’t about staying busy but actually learning to sit in the quiet and empty spaces and work through some of the ugly in our hearts we so often run from and shout over?
Silence can be unnerving because we’re left sitting with our wounds and our broken heart pieces, hearing only the accusations of our inner voices.
But what if the healing you’re desperately needing requires you to walk through, rather than away from, the mess?
What if sitting in the silence means you finally have time to hear The Voice that has been whispering at the corners?
What if in slowing down, you actually became stronger, healthier, more centered, more yourself?
My mom, she calls it redeeming the time – taking back that which has been lost, exchanging the endless running for something good, making our minutes better.
Busier is not always better.
I say this not because I’m doing this well (ask my firstborn, who last week said I couldn’t be called an amazing mom. It is grace that allows her to still sleep in our home) but because I need to write this down, to etch it in my mind in the hope that it imprints on my heart.
Slow down. Be here. Let go.
There will be time enough to work through the lists and go hard after projects and dreams. But that time might not be now. And that’s okay.
Give yourself permission to do less of what the world clamors for and more of what matters, but is rarely measured.