". . . little shall I grace my cause

In speaking for myself. Yet, by your gracious patience,

I will a round unvarnish'd tale deliver . . ."

(William Shakespeare's Othello, I.iii.88-90)

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Finding the Balance

Woke up at 5:00 a.m. Out the door before 7:00. Had to shovel the driveway before leaving. Spent over an hour driving in the snow to get to and from two choir rehearsals at two different schools followed by a string of invidividual rehearsals with students participating in Solo & Ensemble. Home a little after 1:00. Talked to children for a few minutes, talked on the phone with husband, had lunch. I have been working all day and I am sitting here feeling guilty for escaping into the computer for a few minutes. I should be doing laundry, or cleaning house, or practicing piano, or giving my 6-year-old a piano lesson, or reading to him or playing with him instead of being glad he's watching Tom & Jerry right now, or reading my older children's written work, or calling my mom, or making some progress on the taxes, or . . . or . . . or . . . .

Now don't get me wrong. I'm taking the break (I'm writing this blog post, aren't I?). And I don't think anyone thinks less of me for doing so. But I myself am feeling lazy for not being more materially productive right this moment. There is so much to do! Not only that, tonight I'm going to (ring-a-ding-ding) watch Lost on television. That's a whole hour set aside to sit and do nothing--and here I am wallowing in laziness instead of using every spare moment to accomplish something! My internal guilt alarm is is about to blow its circuits.

Sometimes I congratulate myself on my work ethic. I have a lot to do and I do a lot. There are people who depend on me and by and large I am there for them. There is much on my plate and by the grace of God most days I manage to keep all but a few crumbs from falling off.

Other times, though, I curse my overdeveloped work ethic. I think God wants us to be able to relax and enjoy life. He rested, and He wants us to also. There is nothing wrong with taking time to do so. Not only that, but we need to rest so as to be able to return to duty refreshed and energized.

Yet it still remains that at any given moment there is a tension between service to others and service to oneself, between productivity and relaxation. And to find a guiltless balance between the two is something I have not so far figured out.


Susan said...

You had two hours to get up, get dressed and breakfasted and ready for the day, AND shovel? You must've had less snow than we do. (Wait. Maybe less driveway?)

Susan said...

"Overdeveloped work ethic."

Yup. Exactly what I was thinking about myself this afternoon.

Cheryl said...

Yes, less driveway. Also, I only shoveled my side. And I was in a hurry, so I only shoveled out tracks for my van to get out. I left the rest for others. :-)

And I am really good at getting ready fast. Forty-five minutes tops, less if I'm at the top of my game. So even factoring in the getting ready and the shoveling, I still managed to have breakfast and spend a few minutes on email and Facebook.

Where there's a will there's a way. :-)