Invariably, when I set out for a vacation, I envision a seemingly endless window of opportunity to tackle the things that never seem to make it to the top of my to-do list in the course of a regular week. I plan on catching up on the journal I am keeping to record precious memories from the babe's early years. I imagine hours of writing - filing away newsletter and blog ideas for future weeks when creativity seems elusive and making progress on long-range projects. I dream of reading - optimistically packing stacks of magazines that have been collecting dust on my bedside table, as well as the book(s) I have yet to start.
But in reality, such windows are always too brief. When a quiet moment presents itself, there are always work details that need attended to and errands to run. And the discipline that comes so easily at home devolves while away: instead of maximizing efficiencies when the opportunity arises, I find myself sitting still, gazing out the window, and losing myself in conversation or quiet thought.
But when I think of the many "wasted" moments over the past two weeks, I don't regret the unread magazines or books or lack of writing progress. I smile when I think of relaxing on a shady porch swing with my daughter and her cousins, starting my days with morning runs on the beach, watching basketball in the middle of the day with my parents, sneaking away for an afternoon at the theatre with my husband, escaping for a movie with my mom, looking through yellowing stacks of decades-old family photos with my dad. Rather than seeing these moments as wasted time, I can appreciate the value of connecting and recharging.
Can you recognize the value in lost moments? Can wasting time allow you to return to the real world refreshed and ready for whatever lies ahead?