“After all, it is those who have a deep and real inner life who are best able to deal with the irritating details of outer life.”
I had an email from my cousin, Sandy, over the weekend saying how busy she is. Though she's now retired, she's exhausted by all her volunteer work. Lots of retirees are not truly retired; they simply are no longer paid for the work they do. I also know many young women with children, and some men, too, who spend every minute of every day, picking up and dropping off. Summer is a sprint of swim lessons, sports camps, scouts, art lessons, play dates, and endless food preparation and clean up. Summer is not, and probably never has been, time to kick back and do nothing. Most parents are honestly relieved when school starts and they have at least six hours per day to devote to their own tasks.
The demands of modern life are many. It's a bit like watching the brown thrashers in the umbrella tree trying to keep their chicks fed—they never stop. One after the other, they fly to the nest, stuff food into the open beaks, and fly away to search for more. Summer is a season of exhaustion for many living things. So how do we keep our equilibrium?
It helps to have a practice that lets you to begin the day in a quiet state of mind, whether it's meditation, prayer, or just relaxing on the porch with a cup of coffee. It may mean you may have to get up a little earlier, before the rest of your brood. Sitting quietly, reading something that inspires you, writing in a journal, taking a walk, whatever helps you to get your day off to a calm start, will make a difference for the whole day.
It also helps, in my world view, and from the perspective of age, to appreciate every single second, no matter what is going on around you. Be so tuned in that you will remember all the moments—the harried and chaotic ones, as well as the calm and peaceful ones. All of life is precious. When you think you just can't take one more dance recital, or one more baseball practice, just know that this too will pass, and this boring or hectic moment is just as precious as any other. All of our moments compose a full life—yours and mine.
In the Spirit,