Life around here is always pretty full. But this past summer, when 80 degree days were in full swing, I had a particularly busy period, brimming with photo jobs and settling back in from vacation. A bathroom floor we were trying to finish, along with getting ready for a party with 40 people at my house and a visit from my dad. I was bustling around doing too many things at once. And I can operate there for a while, quite productively. But we are not machines meant to go at high speeds for long periods of time, at least not without some rest periods. There are seasons for everything.
I believe that if we don’t take these rests for ourselves, the universe hands them out to us. Like the next playing card you pick up in Monopoly. I call this The Universal Time-Out.
I rarely take these time-outs for myself. Rather, I wait until a brick wall in the form of some nasty cold or injury to take me out completely. This past summer when I was running around trying to get it all done? I cut my hand on a glass jar. Deep enough to stop me from cleaning or sanding a bathroom floor. Or doing much of anything for the better part of a week. And it hurt.
“Nope. You’re in time out” said the Universe. And I took it. Because then I had no damn choice.
So I’ve been looking for these little moments. These places where I find myself in time-out (like a long grocery line or a slow-moving toddler). Places where I could pause and let it be. Because my instinct, truth be told, is to go running around “fixing” it. Find a shorter line. Hurry the kid along. Just make it happen. But I think there are lessons to be learned from the sitting still.
This morning I sat down with my brand new and lovely fingerling yarn to teach myself to knit some socks for the very first time. I had my knitting basket full of everything I’d need. My iPad with the pattern on it. A book to listen to once I got going. Lincoln was all nice and quiet with his toys because it’s Monday and Brice is in school so he can play with whatever he wants.
And then I took out my knitting and realized that I had to make the skein into a ball. But, that’s okay. That’ll be fine.
It took about 45 seconds to realize that “okay” or “fine” weren’t really the correct words. And within 3 minutes, I had a nice tangled mess of lovely yarn that must be dealt with before I can even start to make socks. I don’t even know how it happened.
And I suppose I could just set the yarn down and go about the rest of my life. There is always something to do.
But maybe, the universe is telling me that today is a good day to curl up and untangle some yarn.
I think today, I will listen.