Have you ever made time for nothing?
If you’re not married and without kids, your weekdays are probably compartmentalized like mine – a one-hour work-out slot, followed by nine-plus hours at the office, dinner and the routine household tasks before falling asleep to a rerun of HGTV’s “House Hunters.”
If you’re a single parent, your days are anything but your own – running the school carpool, making meals, folding laundry and catering to your children’s schedules, all while trying to fit in your own commitments.
Living in a world of structure and calendar reminders is downright exhausting. How many times have you asked a friend or co-worker how they’re doing and they respond with a drawn out sigh and say, “I’m just so busy?”
Our culture doesn’t know how to kick up our feet and relax within our day-to-day schedules. Lounging on a tropical island on a winter vacation thousands of miles from the office is one thing, but finding moments of peace, simplicity and reflection within the confines of the work week is a whole different story.
LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner recently commented on this phenomenon. As the leader of the world’s largest professional network on the Internet with more than 200 million members, Weiner’s work life is demanding, so he maintains his sanity by scheduling several 30- to 90-minute “buffers” in his work calendar. He doesn’t set aside this time to surf the Internet or check his Facebook page, rather he uses those blocks of time to recharge, analyze the day’s issues and just think.
On average he devotes anywhere from 90 minutes to two hours to these buffers each day, but he considers this method to be “the single most important productivity tool” he uses.
All Catholics are called to be beacons of light in our world, and we can only do that when we allow time for God to work through us and make His plan known to us. If your TV is constantly blaring in your living room or if your social calendar is overflowing with personal commitments, you will likely miss the quiet guidance of the Holy Spirit.
My boyfriend and I both lead busy work and social lives, so we’ve started scheduling “do-nothing weekends.” Within those two days, we make no friend or family commitments and instead fill our time with spontaneous activities like an afternoon movie marathon or dinner at a new restaurant. Not only do we get a break from our structured ways, but we also get the chance to reconnect emotionally and spiritually.
You don’t need to set aside a whole weekend to get started. Take a look at your calendar and schedule in a few “buffers” right now. Even a 15-minute walk around your office floor or a quick kickboxing video at home could reset your internal pace and prepare you for what God has in store for you that day.
“Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him.”
– Psalm 37:7