Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Contemplating Structure

More from Music of Silence-"As the shadows lengthen, we have intimations of the end of the day. We notice the limits and boundaries that give our lives structure. The hour of None (3 p.m.) wants to lead us to the right understanding of limits; to see them not as prisons, but to face them and work within them. And if they are arbitrary limits that inhibit our genuine growth, then we must overcome them.

Our lives have many structures-our jobs, our families-because it's only within limits that anything meaningful can happen. If all possibilities were available at all moments, if there were no limits, no boundaries, no definitions, we'd be lost. People mistakenly think that happiness comes from removing all limits. The lesson of the lengthening shadows is to forgive and to live to the full within the inherent limits and boundaries of our lives."

Schedules and boundaries in my life have been on my mind a lot lately. Laurel and I both laugh at how we love to make very precise schedules committed to paper and then find it impossible to stick to them.

I've found that the only time I can keep to a rigid schedule is if I stay home all day by myself and have no interruptions. How often does that happen? Maybe once a year. So for the rest of the time I try to stay on schedule and be flexible if interrupted.

But I'm not satisfied with this method anymore. I want less boundaries the older I get. I need more time for contemplation and for soaking up the moment. So I'm trying to arrange my days a little differently.

I'm keeping Darcie on her schedule, because she has schoolwork to finish in a timely manner and places to be at certain times of the day. My early morning time will be the same as it has been for the last thirty years; worship from 6-7 and exercise from 7-8. Breakfast, cleanup, getting dressed, and light housework from 8-9. The difference will be from 9-6. I'm not breaking it into tiny pieces anymore. I'm writing down a list of what I want to accomplish every day and numbering it in order of importance. I'll work away at #1 until it's done and then go on to something else.

Or I might do #5 first. I'm a rebel that way. Anyway, it's a more laid-back approach to living that I hope will still allow me to get things done but with more mental leisure.

I'm beginning to see that the quest for balance is as illusive as joy in the midst of chaos. Both are worthy goals but probably not attainable for very long in this lifetime. Or maybe it's just me. Has anyone out there achieved balance or joy for long periods of time?


Jeannette said...

My husband likes to say that God created time so that everything won't happen all at once.
It is wonderful that you read in the uplifting and challenging genres. Thank you for sharing.

Pom Pom said...

Hi Debbie!
I like this:

I've found that the only time I can keep to a rigid schedule is if I stay home all day by myself and have no interruptions.

Are you my long lost twin? I SO feel this way!
I just got Music of Silence in the mail today! I need quiet in order to read it. I'm not seeing a whole lot of THAT in the next few days, but I'm going to pray for it!
I agree with you regarding Julia Cameron. Many of the things she says just don't sit right with me, but I love some of the quotes she uses and I can find some inspiration in her books.
I'm so glad I "met" you!
Have you read Walking on Water?