Learning the joy of an empty calendar is not easy. Busy is a sign of worthiness, a sign of being needed and wanted, a sign of achievement and success. I found that a completely empty calendar just made me feel worthless, adrift, and unhappy. On a recent trip to our beach cottage, this was highlighted this for me. Our normal warm weather activities were curtailed by cooler, windier than expected weather. I had days on end of empty calendar – absolutely nothing planned. And I felt adrift again, like my early days of retirement transition.
– I need to find the right balance between structured-scheduled activities and go-with-the-flow freedom. Will I ever find joy in a completely empty calendar? No. But a couple days of freedom a week feels quite nice.
– I need to learn to slow down – find the positive in stillness, engage fully in the present, allow time for introspection, and surrender to serendipity. Look at an empty calendar as an opportunity to savor the slowness.
– I need to watch out on freedom days – not allow passive timewasters to take over that free time. Don’t let free time turn into mindless TV watching, blog surfing, and the FB black hole.
– I need to challenge myself on what the activities are that make the schedule. Scheduling activities and being busy is easy. Are the things I am busy doing making me happy? Stimulating my mind? Activating my vision?
This year’s resolution is “Find joy in each day”. Details of this now means:
- Savoring the slowness. Being OK with just sitting and watching the waves on the beach. Taking a walk and enjoying the scenery. Stopping for a coffee or a drink and just sitting. Talking with a neighbor.
- Having a less rigid schedule. Being OK to move a task to tomorrow, or the next day if something else comes up. Enjoy the free days.
- Only checking email and FB once (OK, twice) a day. Not every hour.
- Doing things for the experience of doing them. Take pleasure in the doing and not the outcome.
- Every day do one small thing that moves me forward on my life vision – even if it’s not scheduled (write, go outdoors, shop for healthy food, etc.).
How do you feel with an empty day on your schedule?
Picture credit: Pixabay