In each season of life, I find myself fighting the story in my brain that says, “But no, really. This next season is going to be calmer. More peaceful. There will be more free time and rest.” I fight it because I’ve now lived long enough to know better, life is not magically going to slow down on its own. It only takes one glance at the folks in the season of life ahead of me to realize, that next season might even be busier. I also fight it, because I want to flip that script from “there will be” to:
“I am making choices that lead to . . . more calm, more peace, more free time, and more rest.”
With these boys of mine quickly becoming teenagers – I do realize that there is a moment coming, not too far away, when my time spent mothering will significantly decrease. That’s not the kind of free time I’m looking for. I want more free time to be with them. I want to soak up all the moments of play and fun that we have left.
Yet, the demands of life keep us all just rushing forward.
One day last week, we went to visit my Grandma at her senior living community nearby. Sadly, we don’t make plans to do this often enough. Quite honestly, the drastic difference between the pace of life we’re used to living and the pace of life inside the doors of her community, are like two entirely different worlds. We often play cards to help keep the boys engaged, but this time we simply sat on the sofa to talk.
She talked a lot about being so busy with all the things she needs to do.
This year Grandma moved from her long-time home and has years of boxes to “unpack”. It’s not the clothing, dishes, or furnishings that are yet to be unpacked. It’s the newspaper clippings, letters, pictures, and photo albums in boxes stacked all around her room. They’re full of the memories of her life. So the process of unpacking and sorting through what should be kept, and what needs to be discarded, is more emotional than physical. It’s not really something with which we can help very much. In that context, it makes sense that she feels so busy when she looks around her living room. It’s a lot to face, mostly alone.
Meanwhile, her cell phone is constantly dinging and each response takes significant time to send.
I’ve spent significant time thinking about it this week. In many ways, as a society, we’re more “connected” than ever before. We’re invited to more gatherings. We’re in-the-know of all the happenings, both good and bad, around the world. We know what our neighbors had for breakfast and how far our college roommate ran this morning. We see horrific acts of violence replayed on our screens. We see the struggles of displaced people groups all around the world. Our hearts are pulled in what seems like a million different directions. It’s increasingly difficult to know where our own boundaries are.
All the while time is flying by, faster than ever.
The plethora of information we’re faced with, keeps us busy, merely digesting it. Even more so, the pressure of deciding where to invest our mental bandwidth and physical presence, and the social implications of those decisions. I keep thinking, over and over again, that I hope our generation, and the next, will find ways to filter out the unnecessary noise. I hope we’ll insist that the same technology that has “connected us” in more ways than the human brain is wired to comprehend, will be used for good. I hope it will be used to make more space, not less, to fully engage in what’s beneficial for our lives, while acting justly, loving mercy, and walking humbly.
It’s becoming increasingly obvious, that kind of change in direction will require the determination of the collective human spirit.
In the face of technology that threatens to keep us “too busy” to engage in our real lives, we each must decide we want more.
More than this “busy” life we’re living.
And then, choice, by choice, by choice . . . choose real life.
Choose each other.
There’s more, if you decide you want it.
to more love,