Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Off-List: Tuesday's Reflection

I tend to live by my lists, meaning I am always aware of what is on my To Do lists and what I have accomplished on a given day and what is left to be done.

But not this past weekend. 

This past weekend I was off list. Sort of like going off road. 

This doesn't mean I did anything wild and crazy and totally out of character. That might not be a bad thing either, but what it does mean is that I gave myself a time out. 

Last week I accomplished my main goal, which was to write a rough draft for a new chapter in my spiritual memoir. On Thursday. I could have started revising the draft on Friday or over the weekend, but I didn't. Or I could have done other writing tasks or checked off other desk duties, but I didn't. I did go to an excellent drop-in writing class Friday afternoon, and I could have returned to my desk and followed through with some of what I learned, but I didn't. I had done enough, and I felt just fine about what I had done. 

I decided a weekend was in order. Friday night we went to see the superb movie (don't miss) "Hidden Figures." Saturday morning I met a friend for hot chocolate and conversation and a bit of committee work. That afternoon Bruce and I drove around the Minneapolis lakes on our way to lunch at a favorite spot, The Kenwood. It was one of those idyllic winter days of temps in the 20's, and many were out cross-country skiing, ice skating, ice fishing, walking the dog, enjoying the sunshine after bitterly cold days. The day continued with bookstore browsing, reading, watching an episode of "Poirot" on the Acorn channel and then going to bed early. 

Saturday's ease continued on Sunday. Church followed by lunch and reading the papers at Turtle Bakery. Some light house refreshment and then time in the kitchen, assembling a casserole in the slow cooker and making a batch of oatmeal for the week. I felt inspired and decided to clean the pantry cupboard, tossing many out of date items. Way out of date. Kitchen time was accompanied with good radio, mainly "Wait, Wait Don't Tell Me" on MPR. 

More paper and book reading in the snug. A good dinner and then the season finale of PBS's "Sherlock" and the first episode of "Victoria."  

Did I feel behind on Monday morning? Not at all. I felt refreshed and ready to tackle this week's list, which includes revising the new chapter. 

Now I realize that my life is far more spacious than it used to be, and I don't need to juggle in ways I needed to do in the years of working full time and raising a family. Then I struggled to achieve balance, and being efficient with my time was a constant goal. 

While I don't lack for things to do and there are many, many other things I would like to pursue, I am less frazzled, less anxious about how to use my time. 

My word(s) of the year is "Sacred Yes, Sacred No," and already I have noticed how helpful those words are as I make decisions about how to spend my time and my energy. Where to put my feet and where my heart needs to respond. Sometimes the answer is "off list."

An Invitation
What "Sacred Yes, Sacred No" decisions have you made recently? I would love to know. 


  1. Writing a draft is reason enough to take some time out. Glad you enjoyed it!

  2. Thanks. And this morning I "finished" that chapter and it is now "at rest."


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