Last weekend I had one of the most “decadent” and enjoyable weekends I’ve had in months. I had wanted to go out of town for the holiday weekend, but my husband convinced me we should just stay in town and take it easy.
Even though we’re very mindful of what we say “yes” to on the weekends, often, Sunday evening rolls around and we don’t feel truly rested and nourished. The weekend was simply too scheduled.
During the recent holiday weekend, my husband and I took turns taking naps (while the other played with our six-year old), I got a massage, we read, we made some great fresh summer dishes that we shared with our neighbors, saw a movie, spent time going on walks and gardening as a family and for the most part, just hung out and let our days unfold. It felt luxurious! (Sometimes cleaning out the sock drawer is just the soul food we need!)
As I age, I find the less I have to do, the happier I am. And when I can create “expanses of unscheduled time” in my life and my family’s life, magic happens. The ordinary becomes extraordinary. I’ve heard life coach Cheryl Richardson (http://www.cherylrichardson.com/) say that our quality of life is enhanced by what we take out of our schedule/days, not by what we put in. I can’t agree more.
I have been planning for the last 6 months to allow my schedule some space to slow down considerably in July and August. While I will be working during those months, I’ll be on a mini writing sabbatical in July and part of August and am really looking forward to claiming chunks of unscheduled time during these slower months. And, I can’t wait to see what unfolds from these “closets of intentional space.” I hope you can find some time to do the same.
P.S. Talking about balance, I encourage you to check out Stew Friedman’s (head of Wharton School of Business’ Work/Life Initiative) new book http://www.totalleadership.org/. I met him when I attended a workshop he led in Austin, TX last week at Bazaarvoice and was really excited and encouraged by his “whole person” approach to work/life effectiveness and leadership. It’s incredibly refreshing to meet a business teacher/leader who advocates for self-care and alignment with personal values and to hear him share about the profound impact the birth of his first child had on his world view and desire to promote a new way to lead. Read a recent New York Times article on Stew’s recent talk and approach here: http://www.nytimes.com/2008/05/29/business/smallbusiness/29shift.html?em&ex=1212379200&en=2781ffd821336324&ei=5087%0A. Three cheers for Mr. Friedman!