Sunday 3 May 2020

Squeezing the Minutes

As I look back over my day today and reflect, it strikes how busy today was. Even though it was the weekend and I was not working, I spent the day trying to catch up with housework, my to-do list, my sleep and reading the Quran. I managed most of the chores but still didn’t manage to find time to call family or reply to messages from friends.  At the end of it, I felt as if I had not had a moment spare that was not filled with doing something. Even my afternoon nap is a thing to-do and an attempt to manage my energy levels and productivity rather than a lazy Sunday afternoon nap.

I am busy at the best of times between work and five kids at different ages, but the days seems to be even fuller during Ramadan. It struck me that I was getting from one end of the day to the other without a minute to myself. I get very resentful if I don’ find time for myself, I am happy to fill everyone else’s cup, but not from an empty one, I have to fill mine first.

It’s back to work tomorrow, which is even more hectic, spilling over into evenings and nights if I am not careful. More e-mails than I can keep up with, video meetings with the children harassing me just off screen and hours of meetings with me just waiting for them to end so I can do lunch, salah and some actual work.

I need to think about how I can slow down and do less. At work I am starting to think about what I can say no to, what I can delay, what I can ask for help on.  At home, I have been asking everyone to help, but there is something more fundamental about how the day just fills up. Don’t get me wrong, it fills up with good things: worship, parenting, taking care of my home, sleeping so I can get up at night, doing good work in my job, all things I love doing and are good uses of time. Except they fill up all of my time.  Which doesn’t feel quite right.

There is a kind of rest which isn’t power napping, or sitting down with coffee, but still blogging. There is a kind of rest that is about letting your mind wander, doing nothing, letting your bones and muscles ease into place and really, really letting your mind and boy switch off and heal and revive.

As I head into tomorrow’s busyness, I will be looking at where I can build in time for nothing, daydreaming and staring into space. I might go and sit int the garden for a bit and watch my seedlings growing.

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