Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Clear the Chaos and the Clutter

this past week i stayed home most of the week.  i attended two rehearsals, but other than that i had no commitments to any group or organization.  i had no appointments.  i ran few errands.  instead, i accomplished some major projects in my home and yard, and i feel a great sense of satisfaction.  i had forgotten what it's like to live several days in a row without the call of obligations to church, civic organizations, and volunteer duties interrupting my daily routine.  it was wonderful to get up and know that i had the entire day to do what needed to be done at home.

i realize that i've allowed the needs of the community to overwhelm my life.  i suppose it's the desire to be needed by the larger world that has caused me to become so involved in organizations that make great demands on my time.  because so many others have no trouble saying no when called on to help, i always say yes, and that's not a good thing.  in the process of being the one that others can always count on, it's too easy to lose one's way.  this week of pretty much withdrawing from the world has been good for me, and i'll try to discipline myself to do more of it.

i've checked my calendar for the coming week, and there is one civic organization meeting and two musical rehearsals on it.  i have one big outside project at home that i want to attend to, so i'll build my week around that project.  if it works out that these outside responsibilities interfere, i'll skip some or all of them.  it's time i reclaimed my life!  the little voice inside my head that tells me that i'm being selfish is mistaken.  the organization and the musical groups will go on if i'm absent this one time, but the big task i have to accomplish at home won't get done without me.  that job needs to be done now while i have a few warm days to work outside during february, which is often the coldest month of the year here.

perhaps these simple decisions are trivial ones.  they don't address the destructive policies of donald trump and the republicans in congress.  they don't alleviate hunger or homelessness.  they don't reverse the increasing income equality in this country, promote peace and understanding in the world, or help with the myriad of other problems that are larger than my day-to-day schedule.  yet i feel good about my decisions.  maybe focusing on my little corner of civilization for a couple of weeks will give me a better perspective on how i can use my time wisely for the benefit of myself and others.

may each of us take time to evaluate the effectiveness of our busy lives.  may we step off the merry-go-round of meetings and the constant demands of volunteerism once in a while and focus on what is and isn't important to us.  may we set priorities and boundaries that enable us to be at peace with ourselves and the world around us.  shalom.

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