I have done quite a bit of work with Abby Seixas’ book, Finding the Deep River Within. Today,her timely newsletter (her Deep River News) popped into my email, where she talked about snow storms in her area slowing her down. She provided a quote from her own book, and it made me take a second look at the rhythm of my days.
“Last week, nature provided a regionwide slowdown in the form of a blizzard. The weather forced a kind of Sabbath, a day of rest. The cycle of activity, rest & return is crucial to being able to maintain balance and energy in our lives, yet, short of a blizzard or another motion-stopping event, we override & push past the rest part of the cycle again and again.” (emphasis, italics and underlining mine!)
When you are retired, or mostly, days have a tendency to run together. The terms “workday” or “weekend” don’t really have relevance any more, but somehow my mind clings to those concepts, and I feel guilty for not doing “something” during “workdays” or not taking time to relax and renew on “weekends.” One thing I have learned in the informal days and weeks of retirement is that renewal time comes when needed, if you take the time to be aware, to sense it, and be open to it. I am sure this same awareness would work for those who are still on the treadmill of life; raising children, making a living. But it is so crucial to remember that making a living is not the same as making a life.
I don’t believe that making a living is part of the innate human condition. Our society has made it a necessity, and believe you me, I fully understand the relevance in having an income! Yet simplifying my life to fit within the parameters of the income presently available has provided me with the means to “make a life.” A limited income has manipulated me, and I, in turn, have learned to focus on things that nourish me, and renew my enthusiasm for living.
Sit down and think about the elements that make YOUR life. For me, it is my husband, my family (to a lesser degree now, since they are grown and gone – although I treasure time with my grandsons, all too rare in their busy lives) my books, my crafts, my volunteer work. Reviewing books started as a way to get great books for the price of giving my opinion! Now, though, it is part of the larger community of my life – the women who share the love of books with me, and who have become friends. Volunteer work started out as a way to stay busy, and, frankly, to emulate my mother – now it is another path to friendship, enjoyment and, yes, renewal.
Within these delicate and limited boundaries (limited by money and health mostly) I have forged a life. A good life. Enjoyable, fun, creative, loving and nurturing. I am renewed in my soul-path, and encouraged in my life to follow the gentle renewal times with activity and enthusiasm. Renewal and activity are the point and counterpoint to living a life. Are yours balanced?