Already the Days are Getting Longer

Working outside the home and commuting daily allows a person to notice when the days get longer and shorter.  There is a consistent time piece of our daily routine when we walk out the door, get on the highway, catch the commuter bus or train by which  we are able to measure our days. We noticed day and night relative to that constant migration daily to work and home again.

I feel like I have been living in constant darkness lately.   Each day I left home  in the dark of night with the stars overhead heading to town and came home in the same darkness. If I was going to get some sunshine it had to be during my lunch hour.    This first week of January we had  vicious cold snap of subzero temperatures.   One day we got all the way down to -30 at our house, and that was before we factored in the wind.   I was down right miserable in the  cold and darkness.   Yet by the end of the week, even with the nasty freezing temps, I had found hope.   I was driving home as the sun was setting.   In Montana twilight lasts forever, so suddenly I was driving home in the last vests of daylight.   The days were still cold, but the afternoon light was giving me hope and encouragement.    The hint of days getting longer has gave me optimism and hope that no matter how cold the days were yet to come and no matter how long the nights, spring though months away is slowing making its way to my neck of the woods.

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Another Day

Today is another day.   It is the day after yesterday and the day before tomorrow.   For me is not some magical special day that I make resolutions, promises or goals tied to the new year.   It is a just day.  It is another 24 hours to be spent by me, if I am lucky followed by another   It is a day in my life.  Each one special and one of kind.

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Each morning somewhere between the time when I wake up and when I actually  start my day I reflect how do I want to use this day.  During the time when I do the routine morning tasks of cleaning up, eating and getting dressed I start to think about what this day holds.   I begin to organize my thoughts  recognizing what things I have to do today and the things I  want to do.   I want to fully experience life  each day, but I don’t want to get lost in all the externals that I don’t actively be me.    I don’t want to feel like at the end of the day  my existence did not make a difference. It is a balancing act.   What I plan for each day isn’t the same every day.  Many things influence my plan for the day, if I work or not, is there a commitment I need to fulfill or a deadline approaching, how do I feel, what my family needs, my friends,  and so much more.    Some days I have a simple wish, to walk more steps than I did yesterday or eat a healthy lunch.   Recently my goal was to  pray for a family who has lost a son and that I learn more about compassion and empathy because I can not imagine their pain. Some days it is to accomplish something at work, something that won’t likely change much of anything in the world.  While other days it is do a random act of kindness for someone who I don’t know.

Most days I pick several things for my daily goals and other days I just aspire to accomplish one thing.   I try to make it a mix of for tasks but sometimes  I when I feel spent  I just wish for a day for me.   This weekend  I gave myself the gift of nothing.   Nothing for me is to allow myself the luxury of doing what is calling me at the moment.   For me nothing can  be to read, sew, write, play in my studio, talk to my life-time friend, pull my camera out or take a walk.   My wish for the day can be a grand task impacting everyone I meet or just a single movement toward a lifetime quest that only I recognize.   It changes for me each day.

It is not about a resolution I make on the first day of the year.   Instead it is about my life list.   All those things I want to see, do and change.   My life list does include places I want to see and things that are personal goals, but it contains bigger unreachable items as well.   Those big things, like world peace,  I don’t serious believe I can change all by myself, nor will even see in my lifetime, but I want to be a drop in the water  that sends out waves or a butterfly wing that contributed to a distant tornado that is part of that change.    I want to waste one less minute than I did yesterday.   Today I want  to make better use of  the time allotted to me than I did  the previous day I was given.    I fully embrace each day no matter what day of the year it is.  I wish the same for each of you.

We All Get 24 Hours

It seems everyone is always running out of time to do things myself included.  Each of us complains about not having enough time.   There was once a commercial showing people driving up to an ATM like machine and getting a few more minutes or a couple hours because they did not have enough time.  I’ve looked for it on YouTube and could not find it to share here, because it was so perfect for this post.  It was great because it showed that each of us would like more time to do things in our lives.

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This post started to formulate in my mind,  when someone said to me that I had more time than they did.   Seriously I have more time?   Yes, I may not have a job outside the home at this moment, but I get the same 24 hours as everyone else.    I am not going to go on about all the work type stuff that I do to justify what I do in a day.   Instead I am going to talk about what I do with the non-work time, to carve out time for things the bring me me joy, and renew my soul.  Hopefully this post will inspire you to find some ways to carve out time that nurtures your spirit.

When it is time for a work break, I used to spend it at my desk catching up on the news on the internet.   Now I get up and leave my desk and take Zip, my dog, for a walk.   I get outside and enjoy the day or freeze my butt off, either way I know what is really going on outside in the world.

When it is time to cook dinner, RangerSir and I work tandem and talk about what each of us did that day, solve the world’s problems, or compare notes on what new crazy is happening in American politics.   It is time to stay connected.  It is family time for us.

After dinner RangerSir relaxes by watching TV.   He picks out what he wants to stream that night for his viewing pleasure.   I on the other hand generally can’t imagine that, so this is the time when I go to my studio space and get creative.   It is this time in the evening when I take art type classes online and do my assignments.   It is during this  time when I make samples for classes I plan to teach.   It is this time when I think of friends and make cards to let them know I am thinking of them.  It is this time when I try things I have never done before. It is the time when I work on writing.   I work on my journal and explore in mixed media.   It is time with no excuses for just me.

Lately I feel like I don’t have enough time.  Yet I realize it is my choice not to have enough time.  That feeling stretched thin is a result of my choices, that second class right now may have been more than I should have put on my plate.   There are things in my life I probably don’t have to do, and yet I do them sacrificing things I’d rather do.   If you are working two jobs to put a roof over your head this post is probably not fair to you, but most of us do have some free time and maybe we just are not using it right for us.  We are picking to do things that do not feed our soul with our discretionary time, so we look at others with envy when we see them do things that we wish we could do.

When you feel like you don’t have enough time for yourself, ask yourself what things in your day  are discretionary and  you could actually choose spend your time differently than you have in the past.   Start today and carve out time not “just for yourself” but to do something that makes you feel good.   Don’t go with the routine because it is easier not to change, but change because doing something refreshes you and make your life easier. We each only have 24 hours in a day, but doing something that is just for us, that makes us feel better can make  the rest of the day a much better experience. It is not selfish, it is survival.