Doing nothing looks different these days. Many weekends are devoid of scheduled plans between becoming an empty nester and covid restrictions. It feels a bit more quiet and unusual than in the past seasons of my life. There were days in the past that I would cherish these moments, between game days and events that continuously kept me engaged with my kids, friends, and the community—at the same time, balancing the everyday responsibilities that needed completion before the weekend passed. Those were some lovely and fulfilling times.
These days are nothing like those days. They are quieter with little scheduled. Instead of comparing today to yesterday's season of life, I am changing my view of these quiet weekends to enjoy the quiet moments too. I am looking to be more meaningfully engaged in these uncertain days. I know that they can be as rewarding and enjoyable as the days that have gone by. And as long as the covid restrictions are in place (though somewhat relaxed), I will do my best not to let it diminish my spirit of living more purposefully.
The desire to be more present within the quiet requires committed reflection and exploration to create meaningful use of unplanned time. I am not looking to fill the void with things to do but be conscious of planning with purpose. My initial thoughts on being more engaged begin with being grateful for what I have- the time to reflect, to spend with my husband, to work on myself physically and mentally, and cherish the times I can be with a friend(s) now. I am also incredibly thankful for the ability to communicate by phone, social media, and video chat with my family and friends, even if we can't see each other in person. But I want to challenge myself to add additional actions that matter within the day's available time.
On social media, I happened across an acrostic post from Action For Happiness @actionhappiness called GREAT DREAM that gives light on living happier lives while also being present. These meaningful action categories expanded my own thinking of purposeful awareness while taking advantage of some new additional time. It is not my intent to fill voids of time with "things and stuff" but add value to my days while contributing to the greater good. I thought that the GREAT DREAM is perfect for sharing in this post.
G- Giving (Help others without condition and volunteer with meaningful organizations)
R- Relating (Create attachments with people and reach out)
E- Exercising (Take care of your physical health)
A- Awareness (Take notice of the people, places, and experiences around you)
T- Trying Out (Try something new to expand your perspectives)
D- Direction (Find and create meaningful goals)
R- Resilience (Look for lessons in the setbacks,. Try again, or pivot in a new direction)
E- Emotions (Take care of your mental health, look for the good & give yourself grace for imperfections)
A-Acceptance (Practice self-love and self-acceptance)
M-Meaning (Invest in yourself, explore new or reignited passions. Get involved in organizations that fuel your purpose.
New and fresh seasons are a continuous part of life. How we choose to view, react and respond to them is up to us. Finding balance and value is possible in each stage of our lives. Seek out new ways to establish joy and fulfillment. While my do-nothing days are probably quieter than I like right now, I will be intentional about enjoying some of the silence. I will aim to create a balance that builds my own soul and contributes to making me more connected, creative, and purposeful in the world around me.