Life giving places and spaces

People who know me can attest to the fact that I’m a festival nerd. Currently, I am sitting in a non-chain coffee shop in a western suburb, with a bag of farmers market cherries on the table, awaiting the art fair opening in one hour. Days like this make me feel ALIVE.

I’ve suspected for most of my adult life that I need little “retreats” like this one to feel healthy. Upon graduating college, I struggled with time management and couldn’t figure out what to do with myself once I left work at 5 p.m. I erred on the side of sitting at home, watching chick flicks, and ultimately feeling like I was stagnant. I started exploring my area and contacting local chambers to be kept up to date on events and places to try. How life-giving it was for me to go and experience culture in my community!

In various moves since my initial year in Indianapolis, I’ve kept up the tradition of finding spaces and events that recharge me. Admittedly, I am a learned extrovert, so the stimulation of the festivals coupled with retreating in a corner of a coffee-house, balances out my extrovert/introvert personalities perfectly.

This has not always been easy to make room for in my schedule. I had a stint of three years working two jobs that ate up my energy from 4 a.m. To 7 p.m. or from 11a.m. to 7a.m. Due to that circumstance, I literally didn’t have time to do my “life-giving” activities because sleep won out every time. I was tired and crabby, partially due to lack of sleep and partially due to the fact that I lacked a recharge.

I recognize that not everyone has the luxury to take a day or partial day to do what brings you life. I’ve been there, and I assume the struggle will be magnified once a husband and children and all the responsibilities they entail enter the picture. However, I am convinced that once you find something that is life-giving, don’t give up on working to carve out time for it. I’ve learned that I enjoy others around me much more when I’ve taken time to recharge,(and others seem to like me better too!).

Challenge: make a list of things you like to do and places you like to go. Circle those that you could make time for in your schedule within the month of August. Think realistically about what is actually attainable within the context of your current life situation. Next, put a dot next to ones that you know aren’t feasible within the next month, but that within the next three months you would like to make room for in your schedule. Keep that list somewhere to remind you that life-giving places and spaces are necessary. In a few months, you’ll look back and breathe a deep breath and realize the time management adjustments were well worth it!

We’d love to hear what/where brings you life!

Coffee house/farmer's market

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