Today has been a good day in spite of everything messing up.. No matter that it was very hot and also humid I pushed myself to work outside. I tried to finish all major yard work during the spring so that only maintenance would need to be done in the summer but as usual I didn’t finish. Our yard has long stretches of azaleas which form a border between our property and the next door. These are large bushes which grow with little help but so do the vines that love to climb on the azaleas and prevent the sun reaching them. Dragging out vines has become my lifes work. I use an antique golf cart and pull a cart behind it to fill with vines and haul them to the street to be picked up. I was half done with my planned job when the golf cart quit.
Leaving the cart half way down the drive way I decided to weed wack the area I had been working on. As expected I pulled the starter for at least ten minutes before getting the weed wacker to work. When I had done about half of the area new string was needed. That’s when I found that my grandson had replaced the string incorrectly requiring me to go in the house for pliers to fix the problem.
The thing about all of this is that in spite of the hiccups, the aggravations, and the heat I got something done. After a cold shower my sense of humor returned and I found the whole thing funny. In life one of the most important things we need for survival is a sense of humor. Not only should we be able to laugh at events but most importantly laugh at ourselves. We can do some really stupid things but being able to shake them off with laughter is critical. Laughter heals. It is good for our health. If we could laugh for ten minutes of each day we would feel so much better. If we try and find the humor in the things that upset us we will be so much better off.
I am sure that God laughs at us frequently.
Today I am thinking about another one of my crusades. We have allowed electronic devices and the world they have created to rule our lives and more importantly our time. We allow ourselves to be connected so much that we have no think time. Our ?free? time is interrupted constantly. The human body is not made to cope with this. No wonder the stress level is so high. We have to find balance.
Balance is a very tricky thing. I have a book done in the 50’s by the cartoonist “Osborne”. The book was originally a lecture done for a design conference in Colorado. The lecture was wonderfully illustrated. It became so popular it became a book. This is one of the best things I have ever seen about using our time well. He talks about “the perfectly attainable Leisure the picnic, the two hours in the evening, …….the non-frenetic weekend with gardening or carpentry- the QUIET moments which CAN be had.” He says that the “crux of the matter……we must set limits to out efforts…..How much LAWN are we going to MOW? If we choose too little we have lots of Leisure, but a vapid face. If we choose too much we become tired, irritable, dislocated, insensate.” (Caps etc are his) *
This is the tricky part. Figuring out what is too much and what is not enough is difficult to say the least. Balancing work, family and some social life is complicated. Who do we leave out when we see it all as too much? What is most important? It can be different things at different times. Osborn wrote at a time when more women were at home and he saw it as difficult then. Think how much worse it is now. I think the anxiety about trying to stuff everything in for children is why helicopter parenting began. The idea that we MUST do the best since we are working parents. The guilt about not being there is overwhelming. Many families never have a meal together.
Eating together is central to the ministry of Christ. I think all of us see sitting at a table together is a huge part of connecting. Over food we can share feelings, discuss problemsin a non-threatening way and just enjoy each other. When meals are eaten in fast food restaurants or the pressures of life are so great that a meal is a trial things go downhill fast.
How do we find that balance? We have to set aside time to understand ourselves and our situation. Each day may require a different balance of priorities but over time balance can be seen. NOT EASY. Some serious listing on paper may be needed and discussion with others whose schedules coincides with ours.
*If you are interested I found there are still used copies on Amazon. Osborn on Leisure, A Ridge Press Book published by Simon and Schuster, copyright 1956 by E, R, Squibb & Sons.
Cartoon drawing from the book.