Stealing time. That’s what author Julia Cameron calls grabbing those moments of time tucked into our day to pursue our passion. “If we are forever yearning for “more,” we are forever discounting what is offered.” Of course, Cameron is talking specifically about the idea of finding more time to write, but her principle is a solid one for how to claim all of those things which give us joy. Stealing time. I like that. A lot. I like the idea of claiming a rhythm where those things which renew us, which nurture our souls are not some dreamy illusion but are part of the fabric of who we are daily.
When my first child was born it was a challenge to shift from the routine of having large blocks of time to only have a few minutes here and there. But once I began to discover the wonder of stolen moments I began to feel like I was getting my life back. My mantra was, “one can do a lot with 15 minutes.” And it’s true. And that was my practice for a long time, but children grow up and rhythms change and we forget things that once gave our life meaning. When I went back to work full-time a little over three years ago the lifestyle shift was dramatic and I lost track of many things in the shock of it all. I was in survival mode for a long time. The adjustment that I hoped would only take months has taken years, and I’ve fallen into an intense “get ‘er done” mode. My mindset tends to gravitate towards having dedicated time for projects and passions, copious amounts of time. I lean in that direction. I tend to “formalize” time. I tend to have an identified task and I’m all in. Relentless, in fact. It’s hard to come up for air. I can stay on task and accomplish a great deal, but this practice can be suffocating to the spirit. I know from experience that it only takes a dose of delight to breathe new life into a weary soul. And it also only takes a short while of losing that practice to forget it altogether.
So, these days I’m thinking more about stealing time. I’m thinking about how I can tuck into my life more beauty, more delight, more wonder, more laughter. I’m thinking about good books, and visits with friends, about walks outside, and a cup of hot tea. I’m thinking about writing notes, playing the piano and planting flowers. I’m thinking about cleaning out a closet and writing a blog post. I’m thinking about watching a mystery series and tucking my daughter into bed. I’m thinking about calling my mom and checking on a neighbor. Simple things, really. But all things which renew me. Things which I often think I don’t have enough time for but might make it possible for me to savor time. And more importantly be mindful of the gifts hidden in the time I have.