My Favorite Time of the Week

The ladies of the prayer shawl ministry last Tuesday.
The ladies of the prayer shawl ministry last Tuesday.

That’s what the women said at the prayer shawl ministry in Grand Rapids on Tuesday. I was there to facilitate a TV segment with Maranda, on behalf of my client Lutheran Social Services of Michigan.

It was truly a feel-good story, but what struck me the most was the sense of connection and community among the women. Most of them remarked, on-air, that coming to knit with the other women every Tuesday is their favorite time of the week, what they look forward to.

I turned to a young woman who works there and said, “I can’t think of a time when I sit with a group of female friends, let alone a regular event.” She nodded in agreement.

imagePerhaps it’s because in the 40s, we’re in the thick of life. I’m working, taking care of my children, and barely finding the time for myself.

This weekend I am in San Diego alone for a two-day seminar, and I have to say, even the plane ride alone was glorious.

I watched TV shows and a good romantic movie. In the quiet, I could breathe.

imageWhen I arrived, I boarded a ferry and coasted across the bay to Coronado Island, where I walked and walked and walked in the brilliant sun until I reached the Pacific waves.

The water was cold over my feet, the sand smooth and reassuring. Little shards of seashell washed up with each back-and-forth, glittering in the sun.

Not a cloud interrupted the blue sky.

imageI ate alone, I didn’t feel the need to think. Time alone is so important. Just like time with friends.

And yet, we spend so much time doing what we need to do, checking off our long to-do lists, running between meetings and events.

The women in the prayer shawl ministry are in the golden years of life. They have the time. They are retired, their children grown, many of their husbands have passed.

Why do we wait for the end of life to live life? Do we think it’s truly living to be so busy, so stressed, so full?

imageLast night, I had a wonderful massage and I realized that while I know the health benefits of working out the toxins and releasing tension in the muscles, I do it as a special occasion.

Is self-care a special occasion? Is taking time to breathe reserved only for the rare retreat?

This morning, the sun is rising in a curtain of fog which will undoubtedly burn off with the brightness of day. Soon, I will go outside and take a quick run around the Embarcadero, watching the water lap along in its calm morning.

imageI feel so happy having this island of time. The ultimate gift is to know the self and like to commune there once in a while.

Once you know the self, you understand the importance of making choices to feed it well, to nourish the soul.

Friends. Time. Fresh air and brilliant sun. Ocean surf rolling over my toes, washing me clean of regret and worry and everything.

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