A thought about time

Time is something that is becoming quite a topic in our world today.  There are so many things one can do with time and yet there seems to be so little time!

In the past few days I have been forced to stop and not do so many things with my time due to illness and it has actually been a gift! To be able to read and rest without all the “I should be’s….” going around in my head.

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I have found in our product driven society that it is easy to think of ‘good use of time’ and ‘waste of time’ instead of just ‘time’. Last night at the tea table one of the boys was telling us how he ‘wasted time’ in his science lesson chatting to a friend.  This was totally out of character for our boy and yet as he spent homework time catching up I found myself reminding him of his ‘waste of time’.  But, what if it was actually a good thing for him to be social and spend that time connecting?  Who am I to categorise it as ‘waste of time’? Sometimes I know I can be so focused that I miss those opportunities to relax and be mindful of the moment.

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I think that is one of the things I have enjoyed during this time of rest, time to read and be. There was not the pressure to get things done, that unreasonable list of things, my under estimation of how long it will actually take me to do things.  During my reading I came across something that stayed with me, and maybe it will speak to you too?

” Unreasonable expectations for what we can accomplish in a given period of time sets us up for failure.”(The Fringe Hours by Jessica N. Turner)

May we look at time as a gift and use it accordingly, not feel pressured to continually accomplish and to not feel the guilt and failure when those time demands aren’t met.

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I went fishing!

Fishing has never been high on my list of things to do. Somehow I have a child who loves it! It amuses me when I see in my children a passion for something that seems random to the family culture. (Although his Grandfather was a keen fisherman in his youth.)

On this particular day it eventuated quite spontaneously to go fishing with the lovely visiting family next door.

There were 5 children and 3 adults. The day was very cloudy, balmy, incredibly still and occasionally light rain would fall. The water was clear and we could see the fish teasing us in the water. We had one knowledgeable adult amongst us who patiently got the children set up, rescued the fish off the hooks and was such a calming coordinator of the expedition. There were enough small fish caught to keep the kids happy, not to mention the crabs and a lot of re-baiting as we feed many other fish as well.

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What amazed me was the peacefulness of the day, but it was not there straight away. There was the high excitement at the beginning and then we all settled into the moment. I could feel my body slowly relaxing and it was like layers of stress peeled off.  I could see the kids  finding a space in this new world. As I sat back and surveyed, there was such stillness amongst the activity. Sometimes the kids would be by themselves just watching the water and their line, sometimes there would be voices asking for help or sometimes shrieks when a fish was hooked. But each person was just being, by themselves and yet we were so together.

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It seems that we are living in a time where there is an epidemic of  burnout. Not just for adults but also for children. The term ‘ill-being’ can be used as compared to ‘well-being.’  It can be difficult for adults to find the time to look after themselves. Just finding the time to get the required sleep, healthy food, fun, enjoyment and down time seems to have become a challenge. And, as adults we need to be teaching kids how important these elements of life are.

There is so much vying for our attention that it is easy to ‘focus on the superficialities  rather than what has meaning in our lives. A result of this is people may be more withdrawn, less empathic and isolated. We are becoming more and more distracted in this age of distraction. We need to take a moment and think.’ (Marsha Snyder MD Positive Health: Creating a healthy flourishing life)

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PERMA is an acronym that I have mentioned before. It is what Dr Seligman sites as being needed to lead a flourishing life.
Positive Emotion – Engagement – Relationships – Meaning – Achievement

We didn’t take any fish home (the up side of that was there was no cleaning of fish), but we did take home adults and children who were more relaxed, connected and thankful.

So, bring on the fishing I say!