Mind, Body & Spirit

Intentional Living

May 28, 2015
Shadow Play

Living Intentionally Quote

I don’t know about you, but sometimes I feel like life is whizzing by and I am missing so much of it because I am so caught up in all the things I think I need to do. To be fair, some of those things are necessities – I do need to work in order to pay the bills, I need to cook in order to feed my family, and I need to do the laundry so that we have clothes to wear!! But sometimes I mix these necessities in with things that could wait, and that’s when I miss out on so much.

These past few weeks have really highlighted how very true this is. Life is incredibly crazy right now – we just moved house, I’ve just started two new jobs, Little Man is adapting to a new nursery, TJ is getting used to a longer commute each day, and we’re all adjusting to the fact I no longer work from home. Needless to say, life is just a little bit messy because of all the changes to our routine. We haven’t yet found our new rhythm and it has thrown us all off kilter.

But instead of giving myself some grace and putting the “to do” list on hold, I have found myself desperate to get through it. I see the boxes we still need to unpack, the cupboards that still need sorting, the pictures I want to get up on the wall, the plants that need planting, and it all just feels utterly overwhelming. Again, I come back to weeding out the things that could (and probably should) wait from those that actually need doing. I mean, we have everything we need to cook dinner, dress for work, and go about our daily business, surely the rest can wait!

And it can, of course it can. But when I’m stressed I find that I cling to things I think I can “achieve” (such as a more “perfect” house) rather than simply living intentionally. I focus more on the way things look than the way they feel. What does it matter if my house is a mess, if I am able to spend time with my family? Who cares if the bookcases are filled with clothes instead of books, when it means I have time to go out and enjoy the sunshine with my boys rather than emptying boxes and rearranging everything? By focusing on how unfinished my house is, how far from the ideal I want for it, I am missing out on the fact that we are here, we are together, and life is good.

So that’s what I am trying to do. It is hard, I feel bad about the state of my house, that it should be sorted by now. But though it is hard, it is so worth it. Sitting and watching tv whilst cuddling Little Man, rather than asking him to sit quietly whilst I unpack is a much better way of living, don’t you think?

Last year I wrote a post about looking for simple things in life, what I called Joy in the Everyday Moment, and I feel the need to do this again. I want to consciously and intentionally look for those little things which mean the most, to ensure I do not get pulled down by all the coulds and shoulds that I allow to overtake my life when I do not life with intention.

How about you? How do you live intentionally?

  • Reply
    May 29, 2015 at 10:19 am

    I think I do this: you’ve seen my house! It’s a state, but I don’t really care because I’m happy. I make time to make me happy: gaming, playing with the rabbit, even just going for a walk or watching something on TV. Organising parties for events, barbecues, gettogethers, that sort of thing. But I haven’t cleared my kitchen sides for weeks, but I work round it: I’ll do it one day and while, yes, it is frustrating that I kick the bowls that are on the floor or can’t find space to put things I need to move to get to the back of the cupboard, but that’s when I make the time to clear up, if only to put a few things away or move them about 😀

    I think I live on the time things NEED to be done and work the rest around it in a priority that suits ME. I need to go to work at a certain time so I need to get up at a certain time, which means I need to come home at a certain time, at which point I cook dinner. Sometimes there’s something on TV I want to watch: I avoid catchup where I can because I’d rather make that time now than an indeterminate time later. Then there’s roleplaying: that happens at a certain time so I need to be ready for that. Boardgaming too, that’s something I can take or leave but if I want to do it I have to work around the time. If we’ve arranged a party, or are going to an event, that has to be worked around. Next weekend, for example, we’re off to Gloucestershire for a party and I usually shower on Sunday, but I don’t want to risk the shower being weird at the B&B so I’ll shower Saturday morning before I leave: that’s something I’ve prepared for in advance.

    People do tell me I’m organised: I don’t always feel it but I must be, let’s face it! And when I have my down moments that I’m watching too much TV without doing anything else worthwhile, I try and remember that I need the downtimes as much as the hyperactivity! But I can’t work to a strict timetable: things won’t always go to plan and you can’t break down and lose it at that moment, you just move on and fit it in when you can and accept that that’s life and you’re still breathing 🙂

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