I met with my Spiritual Director yesterday afternoon and in the course of our conversation she spoke of leisure time. She defined it this way, ‘leisure time is giving time to what takes time.’ I immediately liked the sound of that but, to be totally honest, wasn’t sure what it meant. I danced around it for a bit and then admitted that I needed some clarification. Her response was, ‘if you are going to have a cup of tea, make it a really good cup of tea’. Suddenly the scales fell from my eyes. Leisure time is more than simply unscheduled time, or at least it should be, because it is such a rarity in our culture. I think that if we find that we have some ‘leisure time’ in our day, we should make the most of it, celebrate it, use it wisely, and live in it.
‘Giving time to what takes time’, I’m still not sure I understand the many layers of that definition, but I am sure that I will be brewing a cup of tea at some point today.
Yes, we need to give ourselves space to relax and create and do what brings us most joy and meaning.
Anything you truly enjoy is usually done unhurried. I believe that in order to “take time for the things that take time,” (the things that deserve to be experienced slowly), we often have to cut some other things out: simplification.
I just read this post as I drank my tea too quickly without paying attention to it and now I think I’ll treat myself to a second slower one in a little while. 😉
The idea of having a spiritual director is intriguing. Looking forward to more posts about your conversations!
I hope you did have that second cup of tea, Jade. Simplification – that’s the key, and the older I get, the more I realize that. It’s funny, when you get to a point when you can actually afford many things, you begin to know that you don’t need them. Simplification – like that word.
Taking time – when do any of us actually do that? With anything. It’s always hurry, rush, get it done and move on to the next thing.
Sometimes I truly despair at the pace of our lives. And despite my best efforts I find it difficult – at times impossible – to slow it down even a little bit.
I know Kris, it’s a battle. And once we’re on a roll we go faster and faster. We think about how nice it would be and then we never do it. More snow tomorrow – maybe we can take an hour or two for some leisure, what do you think?
I love this thought. It seems to have to do with just stopping and being in a moment. I made a cup of tea last night, and for the first time in a long time, I did nothing but sit with that delicious cup. The tv was off, I was not reading, I just sat in the softly lit room, talked a little with my daughter, and savored that tea. My whole body seemed to just relax and engage with nothing but the moment.
Wow, sounds like precious time. Funny what a good cup of tea can do for you.
Bless you for this, Andie. You make me feel like a cat stretching in the sun. I will indeed give time to what takes times, and make it sacred in the process.
Wonderful! Thank you.
Sacred time, I really like that Claire. I think we’ve all experienced that and the word is sacred, you are so right. Love the image of the cat stretching in the sun – fits perfectly.
In a busy life these are the moments that matter, I spent this week, my half term, driving a friend from here to there. Tonight I thought about all the ‘leisure; I could have been having, then almost immediately realised that I had that ‘leisure’ being able to just spend ordinary time together. It’s not what you do its the way that you do it, perhaps.
I think you are so right Marie, and perhaps our attitude toward it. You could have view it as wasted time but you didn’t and that made it special. Sometimes we don’t get that moment or two for just ourselves and so, perhaps, we can do what you did and transform ‘giving time’ into ‘leisure time’
Andie, yes I love this. Time is precious and to be enjoyed, not frittered away. I hate it when I look back and realize that I haven’t enjoyed or been fully “in the moment” of my leisure time. Sometimes the little snatches here and there, can be huge if we know how to truly enjoy them! That quote is one my mind could stumble over :-0 Lori
Yes Lori, it struck me that way too. I guess that she meant that when we do get those moments of precious ‘free’ time we should spend them wisely, well, most of the time.
What we miss so much in our culture is time to take time off. I am trying (again) to recapture that.
So true Richard, we can learn a lot from the Europeans in that area.
I love that you have such a wise Spiritual Director.
Me too Roberta, I am truly blessed.
I love that you have a spiritual director — how cool! How does one go about finding such a person, I wonder?
Anyway…I love her wisdom. I had to think about that for a minute or two…but then realized that often when I have leisure time, I squander it on the computer, or in spinning my wheels trying to figure out how to enjoy my time. I always feel like I waste my precious time. I guess I need to figure out what activity brings me joy, and then focus on that when I do have that rare opportunity to myself.
Good thoughts Michelle, we all should reflect on how we spend our few precious moments. My Spiritual Director is a retreat leader and after hearing some of her talks I knew she would be wonderful. There are various ways to go about finding one, but you must be careful because a lot of people call themselves spiritual directors but really are not trained. If you are serious about finding one let me know and maybe I can help. They are a wonderful resource and blessing.
Yes that is certainly a catchy phrase. Taking time for ones self is important. Blessings.
So true, sometimes just to play like a child.
Your spiritual director seems like a very wise person. Since last year, I have pushed myself into more leisure time. It doesn’t necessary mean taking a week of vacation every six months, which could be part of the new leisure goals, but also, scheduling let’s say one or two hours a day, etc. for enjoyment of that type. I have found out that getting up at 5 am, and spending a full hour just savoring my coffee…not thinking about work or anything that needs my attention, but just letting my thoughts flow freely, has been one of the most delightful moments of my day.
Have a blessed Sunday. And thanks for stopping by my blog and for your sweet comment.
Doris, that’s a great idea. I love the early morning. It’s a wonderful time to reflect, pray and just be – and that morning coffee is a must.
I may to have to make a poster for myself about that thought!
Thanks Sue…and I’d love to see the pictures that you put with the thought.