I know I am not handling the stresses of life well when I start to fantasise about going away! I’m not talking about planning for annual leave or the occasional mini break. These things are all good and well to think about. I’m talking about the out of the blue dreaming and scheming of an unscheduled break that suddenly seems like the only way I will ever manage to carry on with all that life demands.
Sometimes when I am actually on a scheduled holiday I spend time dreaming and scheming about how I can stay where I am and turn the holiday destination and experience into my every day.
What drives “in the middle of stressful time get away” fantasies and “how can I stay here forever” scheduled holiday fantasies? I think it is the desire to have the joys and freedoms and perspectives of being away from the everyday as part of everyday life.
I have spent a lot of time over the years thinking about how I can make ‘being away’ my ‘everyday’ experience. How could I make a living in Dunsborough or Pemberton? How could I convince my family to move there with me? Some people seem to make these sorts of changes but I certainly haven’t figured it out!
However, in the last couple of years I may just have stumbled across something even better. It’s a perspective change really; something has shifted in my head and heart. Instead of putting my energy into how I can make ‘away’ my every day experience, I have been asking myself, “What do the good things about being away tell me about how to shape my every day?”
How can I shape the everyday to so that every day reflects the best things about away times – things like meaningful work; rest, recreation and pursuit of creative endeavours; time with family and friends and time alone to check in with myself? How can the things I value about the rhythms and patterns of holiday times be duplicated even in small ways every day, every week, every month in between official holiday times?
This year I drew up a plan and scheduled in daily, weekly and monthly opportunities to rest, exercise, create, spend time with family and friends and intentional time alone. I’m not hitting the mark all the time and I have to revisit and re-establish the plan often - but I feel like I have taken a step towards living out the promise of the words Jesus spoke, “Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace.”
What could you do to bring some of the healthy rhythms of time away into your experience of the everyday?
Lead Pastor - Lesmurdie Baptist Church