Each season, I choose a new habit to develop or solidify in my personal life and practice. These habits range from life style changes to simple housekeeping practices to personal improvements to abstract habits that I think will help our lives be a bit better. The common element is it is something I want to see developed or improved in my daily life and practice. This season’s habit is getting back to the basics.
The most obvious question is, “What are the basics?”
What is most basic or maybe most important in life? This varies so much from person to person and family to family. For me, I have approached this considering this:
“If I did nothing else, what are the things that I would make sure where done?”
“If life circumstances demanded that I ignored some areas of life, what would I not ignore?”
This evaluation has been difficult for me. Even the list of the most important seems huge.
A couple of years ago I broke my hand while pregnant. The inability to do normal tasks and the danger of early labor combined with severe enema had me resting A LOT! It was frustrating to see things I felt needed doing going undone and yet I knew I had limited energy to spend.
Looking back at those weeks, and the following months as I healed, gave birth, and adapted to our third bundle of joy (read energy, here); I am trying to remember what were the things that I ranked as most important to do then. Eating, sleeping, Bible reading, taking a shower, brushing my teeth, connecting with my children, time with my husband, clean clothes, and a reasonably clean home are all things that I remember as giving rank to, or wishing I had when I didn’t.
As I consider more what the basics of our life are . . . this is the list I have created for now:
- a nurtured relationship with God
- physical and mental rest
- good food to fuel our bodies
- clean clothes for us to wear
- connection with family and friends
- a thriving environment
- investment in others
That does not seem too complicated, yet not so paired down that it leaves holes for important things to fall by the wayside. This idea of what are the basics of our life (of my life) merits more thought. Of course, the evaluation then comes, “Is that really where I am spending my time?” If these are the basics, everything I spend time doing, should fit somewhere on this list. Time to head back to the evaluation room. With my basics in mind, I may need to do some freeing of my time from the non-basics that can fill my days.
Knowing that priorities are different for each person and family, what are the basics of your life? Is that really where you are spending your time and effort?