A friend and I exchanged a series of emails this week, seeking a time we could meet for coffee after falling out of touch for months. I told her I could meet immediately after work Monday or Wednesday, or we could consider weekends. She replied to say she has meetings both of those nights but was available Saturday afternoon or Sunday evening. “I have church Sunday night and plans until about noon on Saturday, but I could meet up after lunch,” I replied. We settled on a time and place, then questioned, when did we grow so tied to our calendars?
Truthfully, I feel like it’s become even more difficult than that to negotiate space in my life for myself. I tend to have one week a month when I’ve got obligations every evening—usually fun stuff, but it keeps me away from home just the same. This month, I think I’m staring at my third consecutive week of mayhem.
I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the need to create space in my life. You could argue it from a spiritual perspective (I will), but it’s necessary even without considering that. I crave alone time, hours spent with books, my journal, my Bible, my cookbooks. I love people deeply, but I have to couple my time with friends with alone time. It nourishes me.
On Sunday, my pastor talked about Jesus and our stuff—how it defines us, how materialism affects our lives and spirituality. What do you want for your children, he asked. Is your focus on academic success, material wealth, athletic prowess? Or do you long for them to love Jesus?
I don’t have children, and I don’t imagine I will for years to come. Even so, that question rang out like a challenge, a new call to examine my own priorities. It feels like there’s such pressure to be the fabulous young single—to frequent the hot new places in town, attend the big concerts, put in an appearance at the “see and be seen” events. I know people who have accomplished so much, whose job titles suggest glamour and importance.