I missed my deadline to post on Sunday. And while I knew that I had missed it, I didn’t worry about it. Because I was away. Because I had no phone reception. And because I had other more important things to do.
I spend my life with an internal list of ‘should have’ and ‘need to’ going on in my head. And sometimes this even extends from basic things like “I should have done the dishes”, to more flexible things “I should have read that blog post”, “I need to make that craft activity for the kids”.
While these things are ok in their own right, (and let’s be honest there are always dishes that ‘should have’ been done) the problem comes when they become the most dominant noise in my head. When they drown out the voices of the moment that I am in, the voices of my family, my friends or even God (whose whisper is the quietest).
I have spent this Easter with my extended family up at the family cottage. Running the net for mullet, putting pots out on the reef to catch crayfish, teaching my daughters about watching the sea, and showing them the paths through the rocks and the dunes. Investing in family.
It wasn’t a relaxing holiday. We had 6 kids under 6, one shower and one toilet between close to 20 of us. A small space and a lot of noise. But it was a peaceful one. On this holiday I wasn’t thinking about the ten things on my plate at the moment. I wasn’t checking my email, or writing to-do lists. I wasn’t listening to the ‘should haves’ in my mind. On this holiday there was a focus. The kids, the fishing and the meal table. Everything else was extraneous.
Today is my first day back home and already I have a to-do list on the go. Because there is a time for everything. And what I am finding is that peace is not only about a time relaxing by the pool with margarita in hand (though that would be nice), or a secluded walk thorough the forests down south (equally lovely). But rather being fully present in the time you are in, focused, without extra distractions.
So while on the weekend I relished time when I did not have to worry about my ‘should haves’, today part of being present in the moment was creating a to-do list. And that’s okay.