A few weeks ago, I arrived for my bi-weekly volunteer shift at church to discover that some kind soul had already set up my station. I was grateful for the gesture - as well as the 30 minute window of "free" time before families would begin arriving. I reached into my bag to retrieve the work I had brought along just in case I found myself in such a situation only to discover I had left it at home on the kitchen counter...
With nothing requiring my immediate attention, I reflexively grabbed my phone and scanned my email. Not much comes in on Sunday mornings, but I did find a treasure from the lovey Kelly Newsome [link], in which she advocated for boredom. It was a timely reminder, and I did my best to embrace it.
Rather than strive to find a way to make the time "productive," I simply sat still. Observed the activity around me. Listened intently as another volunteer's child explained his elaborate game. Breathed deeply.
The time passed quickly, and when the families began to arrive I was able to welcome them with greater grace and intentionality than on more frazzled, harried mornings. Those moments of "boredom" set the tone for a more measured response to the inevitable [hiccups] throughout the day.
It can be hard to plan for boredom, but when the opportunity presents itself this month, I encourage you to take it. As the lazy days of Summer draw to a close, try to soak up stillness when and where you can find it. Leave your phone in your pocket. Keep the book closed. Unplug your ear buds. Tune in to your surroundings. Observe. Breathe.