Taking the time

Here’s me reflecting on my calendar: it’s a love/hate relationship.

Here is the love part. My calendar in the hallway is our “command centre” – it’s how our family knows who is where – when. It’s packed with appointments color-coded for each member of the family. I see the value in scheduling work days and holidays to balance the daily grind with leisure. I like penciling in coffee chats with friends to keep me sane. I’m reminded about the after school activities and playdates for our kids. My husband and I have date nights and weekend getaways tucked away in the calendar. Schedules are valuable – they help keep commitments to people I care about and help me decide which tasks are important.

And here is the hate part. My calendar can fill up so quickly. I’m left with few slots with space to think. But maybe that’s not the point. Maybe there will always be work to do, it’s just a matter of taking the time. The American poet, Robert Frost – touches on exactly this in his poem A Time to Talk – the narrator sees a friend coming down the country road. He stops thinking about all the work he has to do, all the fields he hasn’t plowed. He puts down his hoe to have a “friendly visit”. He takes the time for himself, for others.

And sometimes in the chaos of the week, I need to remind myself – put down the hoe and find the time for what’s coming on the horizon.

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