It has been a busy autumn, hasn't it? Sometimes it feels like you're drowning in the sea of your to-do list and you just don't know when you can take a break. "I have so much to do" becomes your recurring mental dialogue and you don't even know where to start most days.
I hear you.
Every time I get to this place I know it is time to schedule myself a time-out. I figure that time-outs aren't just for toddlers who've gotten themselves into mischief, but for busy adults who need to reset their focus too. I choose to rebel against that never-ending to-do list and take a breather. Goodness, even sitting quietly in the corner sounds like a welcome break! The punishment is not allowing myself to take that time-out, regroup and figure out what's really important.
And you know what's amazing about carving out the time for these moments of rest? I most often feel refreshed, more focused, calm and joyful. All from stopping for a minute to have a mug of tea in the corner! But, of course, the reset button really gets a reboot if I step outside. Last weekend I even dug the bike out of winter storage to make the most of out of my "time-out".
These images were created during a twilight outing with the photography club - a night where we had to scramble to get out the door in time, leaving a mess of dishes and a pile of unfinished tasks behind. But then, in the presence of good company, golden grass swaying in the breeze, and the glow of the setting sun, all those tasks were forgotten - if even just for a few moments. We lingered until long after most of the crew had already departed. And then, as we continued in fellowship, a magnificent Great Horned Owl flew over my shoulder. He perched himself on a branch that had us crouching low in order to view his silhouette but there he waited - just long enough for me to create an image before he was gone into the night.
If we had listened to that running mental dialogue about how we're too busy to do anything but work, this beautiful evening would have been just a dream. It has become one more affirmation to me from Heaven above, that I must carve out these moments for rest - a lesson that I relearn over and over and over. The tasks set before us are not just the busy things in our day but also moments of rest and stillness and restoration.
And on that note, I'm way past due for my time-out. When did you last carve out a moment for yours?
I have this suspicion that Autumn is a favourite season because of its brevity. I adore the beauty of fall (even though I mourn the end of summer and dread the cold blanketing of winter). In Northern Canada our autumns come early and if you blink, you've missed it. In a matter of days we go from a full golden canopy to barren branches when the gloomy October skies blow in. Yesterday, I ventured out in the blustery conditions with a fellow creative to take it all in. Stormy skies threatening rain, crisp winds that had us reaching for our mittens, swirling leaves adding to the golden carpet below our feet, and hundreds of soaring birds overhead. So long Autumn, you were exquisite as always.