Many of us
have taken the challenge this year to reduce clutter
to create s p a c e for the things that matter most in life. For the first 6 months I’ve focused primarily on reducing physical clutter. It has been exhilarating, frustrating, overwhelming, relieving and wonderful. Some days I feel like I’ve made a lot of progress, and some days I just want people to come over and take everything out of my basement. (Anyone interested?)
My husband has been out of town for the last 5 days taking a photography workshop in Utah. So I decided that while he was gone Kestan and I would have our own mini-vacation in town. I relinquished most household duties and we’ve enjoyed eating out, picnics in the park, swimming, a visit to the zoo, the farmer’s market, and get-togethers with friends and family.
We’ve also enjoyed a lot of downtime at home. And letting go of our daily routine has freed up some much needed s p a c e to do nothing. Like playing in the park without a time restraint. Or stopping in the middle of folding clothes to build a fort out of fresh sheets. Or deciding that spices were just as interesting as blocks, so why not build a little town with them on the kitchen floor?
My Internet has been down the last several days so I didn’t have the computer to fill up my time. And having this downtime has allowed me a chance to focus more on what it means to have s p a c e. We can create physical space in our homes by donating boxes of old books and clothes, but what about our daily schedule? How often do we fill up our day so full that we find ourselves running around until crashing in bed at some ungodly hour, just to get up early the next morning to do it all over again?
Sometimes I find that clearing the closets, cupboards and basement shelves are the easy part. The hard part is to keep from filling the empty spaces again. I actually find great joy in looking at empty shelves, just as I love days with no plans. In fact, I “schedule” days that stay blank on my calendar. Sometimes I even encourage my husband to take our one-and-only car to work so that I don’t get tempted to go do something. That way Kestan and I can move slowly throughout our day, with no plans, and with s p a c e to explore around our home. These are my favorite days.
But then there are days where I feel stir crazy, like my hair is standing on end, and I have a lot of s p a c e that I don’t know what to do with. I think, “What should we do?” Why is it that we feel this need to do something, anything, to fill up the s p a c e?
Now that I’m getting close to my last month of pregnancy I feel really moved to create even more s p a c e. So I’m going to continue being more conscious when those feelings of needing to fill the s p a c e come up. I want to be OK with s p a c e. I want to have more time where I don’t know what to do with myself. I am going to practice embracing more being time rather than so much doing. Less agenda. Less schedule. Less expectations. Less thinking about what’s next. More unplanned days. More time at home. More spontaneous, creative play. More s p a c e.
I know I don’t need to do something, make something, go somewhere, be somebody, or fill up my days to feel important and productive. I know what’s important for me now is to be in the s p a c e, because it’s in the s p a c e that I appreciate these special little moments – like simply playing in the park. It’s in this s p a c e where I learn the most. It’s where I’m the most present. Feeling the stillness that s p a c e brings (along with the discomfort and agitation) is where I need to be. And being OK with no plans, no agenda, and no time-restraints is what this little guy is teaching me. Not only is he teaching me it’s OK, but that doing nothing and letting our time spontaneously unfold is more fun than I could have ever imagined.
Your Personal Reflection: How can you create more s p a c e in your day so that you move at a pleasant pace – one that is balanced with more downtime? What are some things you can let go of to create more s p a c e in your daily schedule? How can you keep from filling up your s p a c e and simply enjoy being there? What do you learn when you allow yourself to embrace doing nothing?