One thing I have determined is that I don't do a good enough job of making my priorities, well, priorities! I tell myself what I value in my head. I may even write it down or talk about it. But rarely do I take the time or the effort to carve out a space for it in the bigger picture of my life. And that has got to change.
I have been working on #1 valuing and prioritizing my own stuff, and that has been a journey that has not always been easy or pleasant, and it is one that is far from over. But as I am finally reaching a point where I have some good support and some necessary prodding and I am beginning to step in that direction.
I am not afraid to spend on things that I see as a good, long-term investment. My mom taught it to me in terms of buying clothes and even things for the house - it's better to spend a little more on something up front when you know it will last. I learned through experience that it's better to buy the $40 jeans that will last 4 years than the $10 jeans that will last maybe 4 months. I will even spend a little more on fair trade chocolate or organic produce. But the one place I am more hesitant to invest is my own self-care. Some of this can be seen in my risotto revelation. But I have decided to be more proactive in caring for myself and carving out the space to take care of me, not just trying to squeeze it in between taking care of everyone else.
Step one - get a haircut and get my nails done. I know it seems silly and superficial. But that's precisely why it's such a huge step for me. Because it's something I really REALLY want and I am going to do it with or without the permission or encouragement of others. It's an investment in me. And not just the money involved either. In fact, the bigger issue was the time. Setting apart two and a half hours of time just to have someone take care of me? It seems absurd. It took a lot for me to call and make the appointment but I did it. And as crazy as it sounds, I felt this kind of burden lift when I did it because it's such an exciting notion and it gives me something wonderful to look forward to!
And it is that silly and superficial step that has given me the encouragement to carve another little hole, this one filling a similar, but seemingly deeper, need. I need to not only be cared for but be ministered to. Don't get me wrong, I love my jobs. I know that this is where I have been called. But I am still a child of God with a story and a journey and a soul that needs tending in the midst of this crazy life. I am so glad to know of a church doing a series of special services for Lent on Sunday afternoons that emphasize use of the arts, music especially. I am so stinking excited that I am not only going to carve out the space to go to one, I am going to carve out space to go to several. In fact I'm going to all but one! It's amazing the impact these little steps can have!
As I continue to carve out these spaces, I am reminded that the craft of carving is often quite challenging. It takes real skill (and sometimes very specialized tools) to get things exactly the size and shape we want them to be. In the meantime, we just have to keep trying, digging, shaping, and finding ways to create these spaces that are so very needed!
How do you carve out space in your life? Why do you carve out the space? Who or what helps you with that carving?