Friday, November 8, 2013

Slowing Down

Every year, about this time, I get a bit sentimental.  

Normally, fall signifies a slowing down for me - I am not travelling for skiing, or in registration and advising period for work.  And life just seems to flutter by at a more leisurely pace.  I spend more time enjoying doing nothing, and not stressing about what I should be doing.  I start to think more seriously about goals I have in my life, how I want to spend my time.  

Of course, now that I have Emma, the way I spend my time is a bit different.  Every aspect of my life is changed - from the day to day routine to the bigger, planned activities.  I find myself doing the same thing over and over, and not really enjoying it all, or appreciating who is doing it with me. 

This week, Brent had 3 days off work.  At first, I was bummed because there was no way I could take off. The past month has been the most busy at work I have ever had.  I have seen close to 150 students for 30 minute plus advising sessions (saying the same thing over and over...these are your lib ed classes, this is how many credits you need to graduate, have you thought of a major? are you struggling in any classes? this is how you the how to video.....) I was starting to have nightmares about different classes we were offering for the spring.  I was falling asleep on the couch, sitting up, at 8:30pm - just drained.  Then, this week was registration - so I helped troubleshoot 500 of our students and their various registration problems.  So, in short, there was no way I was taking off to spend time with Brent during his days off...but it was actually a blessing.  Brent was able to take Emma to school and pick her up (which meant I could actually wrap things up at 5pm and not race home like a crazy woman, instead of dropping everything at 4:45 and making a mad dash to the parking lot).  He had dinner made, the house taken care of, and a glass of wine for me when I walked into the house.  It was amazing, and really made my week more bearable.  I would have loved to have spent the time with him, but it was nice to just play one role at a time this week.  He even finished painting our trim and walls in the living room.  So now, I have a newly painted house to enjoy:)

As work has slowed down, I can now appreciate this season.  I have such fond memories of fall and winter.  There is something about a grey day and brightly colored leaves rustling around around you.  I don't mind the cloudy skies in the fall, it always seems to make the colors "pop" even more.  I look forward to the sun setting earlier, and warm meals for dinner followed by snuggling on a big, comfy couch.  I look forward to bundling up for a walk, and having more sidewalk to myself, as others aren't brave enough to go out when it gets colder.  

But this time also signifies a re-awakening for me.  I hate this, but when life slows down, I think.. 

I'll finally work on myself - I will read more, pray more, do more devotions, try and be a more God-centered woman...  

I am so ashamed, because I know that when I need to work on those things most is when life is chaotic and busy.  And of course, every fall I think these things and then life gets busy and I fall back into the same patterns.  I don't stop to enjoy what God has given me, I rush around and over-obligate myself with parties and errands that don't make me a better person.  We get dragged into numerous family and friend obligations every weekend, all while trying to maintain some sense of sanity in the holidays.  I run around trying to find a present just to have a present, with no thought or meaning in it, only so that I can check it off the list.  I stress out, and miss the entire meaning of the seasons completely.  With Thanksgiving being so late this year, it will be even more chaotic.  Did you know there are only 4 weekends between the 2 holidays this year...less than 27 days.  As I write this, I can feel myself getting worked up, wondering how I will get through it. Fall and winter are meant to be times of reflection and slowing down - I think it's inherent in the colder weather.  It's God's ways of telling us to relax, take a deep breath, enjoy the foliage, and spend time with family.   

No matter what life throws at me these next few months, I am determined to enjoy life.  I have a beautiful daughter and a beyond supportive husband.  This fall, we will be "...listening for the 'still small voice.'"  (1 Kings 19-11-13)

"Slow down. Take a deep breath. What's the hurry? Why wear yourself out? Just what are you after anyway? But you say, 'I can't help it. I'm addicted to alien gods. I can't quit."
Jeremiah 2:25

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