We’re full swing into a pandemic this generation, or any alive, has ever seen. It’s a perfect time to establish a new habit. That’s probably occurred to a number of people, and yes, I’ll be taking advantage of this amazing quieted, downshifting of life.
I’ve said for years that I was going to write. I wanted this mostly for my own self-expression, but there’s a part of me that would like to view myself as a writer and ultimately to be paid for it because the things I penned struck cords with others or were useful in their insights.
I renewed that promise to myself after a conference last month. I promised a dear friend that I’d get back to it, but in the crazy of normal life it just didn’t happen.
What we know about our time is that we will use it for what we deem important. Apparently, if you look at how I use my time, it is mostly for others. I love what I do. I am a teacher – regardless of the “classroom” or the “student”. I am a teacher. I value my students and their growth. I value the content and how it’s delivered. I also value my family. They are the loves of my life. I treasure my marriage and revere in my husband’s constant and consistent filling of my heart and soul. I feel so tender toward my children (read that daughters, sons-in-law, grandchildren). In all this, I am filled to the brim. Occasionally though, and ironically, I am emptied. My soul gasps for recharge sometimes only available in the quiet of a morning spent in prayer, then reflection, and finally in a creative effort. This allows the fragments of who I am to become whole again, recharging me so that I can give it all away once more.
Writing is a creative force all its own. As a language arts teacher, I’ve always known that we truly don’t know what we really think or feel until it is spoken into existence, sometimes placing just the right word on that blank sheet of paper. Even when we are at a loss for words, the teasing out of each word, revising and editing along the way, gets us to the just-right nuance of what we know to be true.
Now is the time.
Now, our lives have been forced into this surreal time-warp – a slowing down of the earth’s spin – seemingly. Less face-to-face contact, more time to walk in the woods, pet your dog, or sit quietly with a steaming cup of whatever pleases your taste buds and watch for languorous moments the awakening of spring. With all due respect to medical personnel, administrators of government and education, all the rest of us have found this quieting to be, well, disquieting at first, but incredulously regenerative now.
Now is the time to build new habits. To reshape priorities. To decide again how to spend the 24 hours we are given in a day. Mine will begin with a date in the early-morning quieted hours of my day in prayer, reflection and then writing.
Take this time right now to examine how you spend your 24 hours. Does it reflect what you value? Use this time to build something anew. What will you do with this pause on life?