Monday Notes: The Importance of Time and Space

It’s Monday. It’s Martin Luther King Jr. Day. And I’m sitting in my bed in my PJs after taking a two-hour afternoon nap. I am refreshed.

This might not seem like a big deal to some of you but for me, this time and space is divine.

You see, I’ve been doing something I typically don’t do: running nonstop, without thinking.

December 7th-9th, I went on a scheduled girls trip with high-school friends.

December 15th, I hosted an all women’s brunch at my home.

December 21st-23rd, I met my paternal, biological sister for the first time.

December 24th, I took our four-year-old goddaughter to breakfast and the movies.

December 29th, I attended a party with a former friend that went left.

January 4th, I spoke at our institution’s general meeting.

January 7th, the semester began and I started a professional relationship with an elementary school.

January 9th, I flew to Chicago to pay respects at my namesake’s funeral, the person I’d written previously about.

January 10th, I visited my maternal, biological sister, who I’d not seen in at least ten years.

January 11th, I met my biological father (and his wife, and her daughter, and my youngest sister) for the first time.

January 14th, my youngest daughter revealed something personal that sent me into a tailspin of Mommy guilt.

January 18th-19th, my friends’ six-year-old son spent the night with us.

I’m tired. Emotionally.

If you follow me on any social media platform, it may look as if this is the norm for me. In some ways the activity is. However, it is not normal for me to engage in back-to-back emotional events, sans reflection. I usually have time to sit and think about the people with whom I’ve engaged and interpret what that says about them, about us, about relationships, and about society at-large.

Eventually, I will write about one or all of these events. But for right now, I’m sitting in time and space without expectations from myself or anyone else. Consequently, I’ve reached a point of understanding.

I understand how easy it is to simply roll on to the next experience or situation and to not think about who you were in the last moment. I recognize how an occupied life sets the stage for missed opportunities of growth. How can you grow (emotionally, spiritually) if you don’t stop to reflect on specific circumstances, especially those that are tied to your heart?

What I’ve also realized is that I’ve created a life that has built-in time and space. In my daily life, I neither move too fast, nor too slow, so that I can meditate, exercise, rinse and repeat. What I haven’t done very well is set aside time and space during moments of unexpected life events, like funerals and biological family meetings.

But from this moment forward, I will. I’ll remind myself to step outside if I’m feeling swirly in the belly; this is my body’s signal to me that I need to sit down somewhere. I’ll remind myself to find solitude in the midst of a crowd. I’ll remind myself that pranayama breathing is just as useful off the mat as it is on.

I’ll remind myself that creating time and space is important for my well being. And, most importantly, no one can offer me the time and space I need, but me.

~kg

35 thoughts on “Monday Notes: The Importance of Time and Space

  1. Good for you, in my late twenties I swept everything under the rug. I had a serious breakdown before I realized I had to work on myself and take time out and find peace with in me. Powerful story and life lessons.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Wow! You were busy indeed! Space….taking it for yourself, taking it in the moment, taking it before responding…space so important. And yes! The body KNOWS.
    Congratulations on ‘surviving’ that “roller coaster” 😉 XxX

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Came over here from Spiritual Journey’s blog. What a beautiful post. Thank you for sharing and…it sounds like you’ve have an incredible, interesting and emotionally taxing (but in a good way) few weeks. I am so glad you mentioned taking time to reflect. That is so important. I wish you a wonderful February.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Whew, that is a lot. Like, a lot. And that mommy guilt on top of everything else is no joke.

    I’m glad you were able in this space to reflect on what you need and how to find space for yourself. It’s important work, and I’m still learning how to do it.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I get it! Looking at the December -January schedule you’ve shared with us (you didn’t even mention the holidays!) – it’s been multifaceted and working at a variety of levels and personalities with a lot of variables including travel. Even joyous family events come with stresses and triggers! I so agree with your observation that we need to make time to rest and reset, reflect and process as part of our emotional healthcare. I know what it is like to be hit with an avalanche of personal life events and basically have to “check out” in order to get through – but all of that unprocessed emotion doesn’t go away; I’ve had to cultivate corrections and healing, belatedly. I wish you the best💞!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. lol Oh yeah…we had Christmas and New Year’s Eve lol You’re absolutely right about checking out to get through. That’s what I’d learned to do during my adolescent years and once I learned to recognize it, I’ve vowed not to do it anymore…but you know…defense mechanisms…they tend to kick in automatically :-/

      Liked by 1 person

  6. If you only had one of the items on this long list, it would have taken time to process the emotions. It’s mind-boggling how much you’ve had going on Katherin. But it seems that much of it you sought out with courage and openness. It’s great that you have the awareness and self-compassion to take care of yourself now.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You’re right Judy! Just one of these (if I took the time to stop and process) would be enough to last for weeks of reflection. It’s funny but when I was at my aunt’s funeral, I kept saying, “I feel so tired, but I feel bad for feeling tired because I haven’t done anything” lol It was probably catching up to me then.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I had a nap today too, KE. Warm, indulgent, with my dogs curled up beside me. Life has been action-packed, full of worries and long to-do lists, and I was feeling blah, headachy, sluggish, generally out-of-sorts. It worked wonders. No one is going to invite me to deep breathe, relax, or take a nap. I have to recognize my own need and meet it. We all do. Good for you for realizing when you feel “swirly in the belly” and taking steps to remedy it. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Hi Kathy. Sometimes your essays really make me stop and think. This is one of them. It’s important to analyze relationships, to try and figure out what they’re all about and if they can or should be improved. That’s my takeaway from your story.

    Bye till next time.

    Neil

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Heavens that sounds like it took a huge amount of emotional and simply physical resilience. Hope the batteries are at least partially recharged. Think this related to the time-honoured metaphor of putting the oxygen mask on yourself first.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Sometimes it comes to a crux to realise we are the only ones able to grant ourselves the peace and solitude we so desperately crave. Wishing you a healing, soothing time … to reflect and step-back. Long walks along your beautiful shoreline should help a lot and I feel better just watching your brief video – and long for warm beach days! Warmest wishes to you, Kathy. hugs xx

    Liked by 1 person

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