As I come to the end of my habit season, and reflect on the back to the basics theme which has been my focus the last few months, I appreciate the clarity and focus to be gained from a list of priorities. But then, I struggle with the more subtle things that need doing:
- household maintenance
- personal refreshing and renewal
- deep cleaning
- organizing and de-cluttering
- my “for a paycheck” work responsibilities
- reading and writing
- connecting with friends
- ministry opportunities
These are a “few” of the things that come to mind. And there are those things that if not done regularly can soon become not so subtle in their cry for attention. What do I do with those?
Maybe the balance is found in not ignoring the one in favor of the other, but learning how to take care of the basics and yet fit in one or two of the not so basics along the way. Doing the basics, yet still caring for one of the other not so basic needs of life. Hmm . . . this has potential.
Maybe this is where the idea of keeping things perfectly balanced needs to be set aside. We all have responsibilities we juggle; all the while at our feet sit other things we would like to juggle, but for the time being need to be left on the floor. Time passes, needs change; and we can set down a task and choose something different to replace it.
In times of challenge, we all kick into survival mode – when all the “extra” juggling balls are set aside for the basics of our life. We are not designed to live in survive mode for extended periods of time. Rather there is the pull to move from surviving to thriving. So knowing what the basics are, seeing some of the extras we might like to fit in along the way, and knowing we have limited time in each day or week – how do we make it all fit?
As the calendar and weather move us from the hibernating reflection of winter into the new life revitalization of spring, the habit for the new season moves too. We move from getting back to the basics and figuring out what the most important things are to evaluating the extras and pruning them out. Is actually being done is a true reflect of the basic priorities? If not, then it is pruning time!