“Waiting under the things to do was a story to be told.”
Last week I transitioned from having one full-time job, Monday-Friday, 9-5 to having two part-time jobs, one nannying gig and a schedule that I actually can’t quite remember but I know it takes up six of my seven days in a week.
This is my ode to Saturday.
On Saturday mornings I have a relatively consistent routine that existed long before this transition and has only grown in its importance in my life. It is not a routine that I force myself to do or that serves anyone but myself–this is something that I do wholly for myself and by myself. I wake up at my leisure–which, is honestly rarely later than 10! no one told me adulthood would involve an inability to sleep til noon–and walk down to 903 Mills Market. I can go two routes here–the scenic route by the lake if I’m craving nature and craving it now or the quicker route if I’m craving a bagel and craving it now. The employees are all familiar with me(which means I barely change out of my PJs when I go and they humor me when I am less than cognitive) and I order the same thing every time. A Robin’s Egg on an everything bagel with a bottomless cup of coffee. I sit outside, I open whatever book I’m reading and I read til the lunch rush starts. Some days I’ll stay through and order lunch too, some days I’ll walk to the lake and read there for a while. Some days(once, literally once) I’ll go for a run around the lake before heading back home for whatever chores or social activities I have planned for the remainder of my day. And that’s it. And it is likely the most important and life-giving time in my week. I actually can feel a negative impact on my energy level, mood and ability to focus during the rest of the week when I don’t start my Saturdays this way.
I am currently living an existence that involves a to-the-minute-planner, a notebook filled with to-dos, post-it notes everywhere, prepared meals in Tupperware for the week and notifications on my phone to remind me to eat. And I am loving every minute of it. I’m learning and accepting the reality that those to-dos are creating the minutes, hours and days of my life and I want to appreciate them as part of the worthwhile story I’m living, not just the stuff that I’m doing. This perspective has helped me so much–I have not once felt overwhelmed or overworked or over-exhausted(which is different than sleepy, I have felt sleepy). And I think that’s partly because I not only rest, but I’ve figured out my optimal version of rest.
For me, I am most fulfilled when I am sitting outside with a book and a cup of coffee. For some it’s getting crafty, baking, cleaning, napping, movie marathons, crocheting, piano-playing, endless list endless list endless list. I just think you should figure out what yours is and do it. The busyness of life is important and necessary–without that urgency and momentum to get things done, well, we wouldn’t get things done. And we ARE God’s handiwork and He has prepared in advance things He anticipates us to do. Let’s absolutely do those things out of great gratitude for all He’s already done for us. Our lives should be a thank you note to our Creator. But if a sense of looming to-dos begins to hinder our God-given need for stillness, our thank you note becomes a reluctant one and our gratitude is forced at best. We are not only dis-servicing ourselves, but those God has entrusted us to love. We are not only not self-caring, we are limiting our ability to be a blessing to others and to be honoring to God.
I’m a better friend, daughter, sister, Surge leader, employee and human being when I’ve centered myself. And you are likely to have roles in your life that are pivotal to those around you. I’d wager that if you’re not prioritizing your own rest and caring for your own well-being, you’re not your most favorable self in those roles. I want to be my least-messy version of me when I am at work, when I am leading seventh graders in a study of Mark, when I am sharing the-closest-I’ll-ever-get-to-wisdom with a friend in need. And I get to be that version of me when I fill my own heart and mind with things that I love for no reason other than they bring me joy and peace. Some days we have to be selfish in order to be selfless other days.
I don’t write 903 Mills Market in my planner. I don’t list it as a to-do or jot it on a post-it note. It can’t become that to me, and I know that. I need to reserve it as something that is routine in a way that nothing else is. That is a crucial and necessary must and yet incredibly different than any other obligation in my life.
But know that I am booked on Saturday morning–can we maybe do a Monday donut date instead?