Last year I bought a couple of expensive planners, hoping they would nudge me out of days wasted on Facebook.
I started with a daily shaped around the Christian year. I moved to a weekly that gave me space to write down yearly and monthly goals as well as enough lines to schedule my days. I abandoned both, because checking off the task didn’t motivate me.
Both planners were too big to carry in my purse or to be present when my “to do” list fired off in my brain.
Finding a daily routine has escaped me, because tasks change with the weather. If I’ve got a lovely day, I’m ashamed to spend time inside vacuuming and dusting. If it’s pouring rain, I’m not going to roll back the mats in the barn and clean underneath.
My brain works against me as far as Facebook, because my brain will pick what’s easiest, and Zuckerberg has made an addictive app; so I turn my attention there.
Sometimes words come along that point, “This is the way you need to go.” In a recent interview with Image, Eugene Peterson says, “Instead of having a destination, a goal, a vision, I was immersed in a way of life in which every step was an arrival at a new place.”
Maybe goals aren’t as relevant as giving thanks for living in this body, walking across this ground.
I’m Katie Andraski, and that’s my perspective.
If you’d like to hear me read this click here.
After I wrote this, I bought a Moleskine 2017 -2018 planner that is small enough for my purse. It has the week’s dates on one side and a blank page on the other. Somehow that is working for me. (Probably because this how I planned my weeks with other, simple planners.) On the pages from August to October I’ve taken some big projects and broken them down into smaller tasks. I finally finished one big project, thanking people for donating to Tupelo Press, that I’d sat on for four months.
I must admit I might not have broken loose and started working again were it not for hiring a therapist, Christine. (I hired her on the spur of the moment because I was tired of whole days spent on Facebook.)I am amazed at how powerful a deeply accepting presence can be. I have tested her by talking about politics, about my faith, my former employer. I am aware she sees those things differently, but I run my hand on those edges and find them smooth, pliable. She has helped me get off dead center and start focusing on the things I want to get done. I’m beginning to feel the stirrings of hope again–hope for my work as a writer, hope for using my retirement well. In some ways she feels more like friend than therapist because I am talking to her out of a place of strength.
I wish that friends could do this for each other, but that art of deep listening, seems to have escaped many people, including me. Our lives are so full of pain, work, Facebook, families, that there is little time left over for friends, or space in our heads for these kinds of conversations–where we stop talking about the latest drama, and talk instead of what we are about, where we might want to go, our faith.
Sometimes people can be change makers, can lead us to that ragged word, repentance, a word that Benjamin Corey says in Unafraid is more about turning toward God than turning away from our failings. Because she has been taught so well to listen, Christine has made a space for me to find joy, to walk forward and yes, finally start checking tasks off my list.
How do you manage your time?