The arrival of summer-like weather and some recent changes in my work schedule have forced me to alter my daily routine. Though I don’t mind change, I do have to work my way through things mentally, physically, and emotionally until I feel more comfortable. While trying to figure out the best way to make things work for me, I found myself prioritizing my activities and assessing what matters most.
Going through this exercise proved most helpful in allowing me to see:
- How certain life events change one’s perspective
- Why it is important to re-assess one’s activities
- Who is affected by changes that occur around us
- When change can be beneficial in one’s life
- What change does to the mind, body, and soul
- Where one can use change to help make improvements in life
Seeing the Light
One of the best parts of this time of year in my area is added daylight, which equals more activity outdoors in my household. This is a great change for me mentally, for the daylight puts my mind in a better place. Being able to run and bike early or late gives me options for rearranging planned and unplanned activities. Having these options offers a sense of freedom as well as less stress to the day.
I was able to run or bike very early several mornings this week. Watching the sunrise along the way gave me hope for whatever was ahead of me for the day. Listening to the quiet and stillness as I ran or pedaled calmed my soul and helped clear my head. Though I enjoy music, I sometimes find the song of silence the most beautiful.
The change in my running and biking routine gave me the opportunity to re-assess what I need to do each day in order to maintain a healthy lifestyle, yet still have time for other responsibilities and activities. As I contemplated running versus biking one morning, I realized both activities are deeply engrained into my life, no matter how many other tasks are on my to-do list. This realization offered some insight into my character and work ethic, for there was a time when my life was quite different. That time was long ago and far away, and I am a better person for making the decision to make time to exercise and reflect upon life.
While I do realize the extra daylight will come a close when summer ends and fall arrives, I plan to take advantage of the benefits it offers, as well as to be thankful for these benefits as long as they last. Life is too short not to be thankful for the best parts, even if the best parts are short-lived or seemingly small in the grand scheme of things.
Spending Time With Others
Although the summer weather has been enjoyable, I have had some issues with a sinus infection that will not go away. Despite my best efforts to keep life normal and the germs at bay, I did find myself having to stop and rest more than I really wanted over the past weekend. The time spent resting was good for my body and allowed me to spend some time with my dogs and talk with God. Though the dogs and I would have rather been playing in the yard, we did find lounging on the bed to be equally relaxing and beneficial. As for God, I think He enjoys any time we give Him, no matter the circumstances.
While discussing the sinus infection issue with a friend, I learned that my friend was concerned about my well-being. My friend was kind enough to share her perspective on the matter. Listening to her made me see I had gotten caught up in life’s complexities and had stopped paying attention to my own needs. She suggested I try to find a little more balance between house and yard work and activities that are more relaxing to me, such as playing my guitar or reading.
I am grateful to my friend for pointing out what I had failed to see. Sometimes, the perspective of others can help us get a clearer picture of life and its many issues. We can also learn a lot by listening to others’ experiences. Listening to my friend made me realize how much of a blessing our friendship is in my life. I also realized that sometimes God puts people into our lives so He can get through to us a little better. We all have times in life when the noise around us seemingly drowns out His messages to us. Since He can’t get through to us via normal methods, He uses some unorthodox means (sometimes in the form of friends, other times in the form of problems or obstacles, and sometimes in viewing nature’s ways) to make His presence known to us.
Changes for the Better
I decided to take my friend’s advice and try a different mix of activities the past few nights. Though I am still adjusting and working out the right amount of work, play, and rest, I can say I have already benefitted from the changes. The sinus infection is not gone, but is finally getting better. My evenings are filled with a variety of activities that provide a good mix of opportunities to grow physically, mentally, and spiritually. For example:
- Going for bike rides later in the evening allows me to enjoy the stillness and quiet of my neighborhood and nature’s many offerings.
- Playing my guitar challenges my mind and body in a different way than running and biking.
- Sitting on the porch allows me to rest a bit, contemplate my accomplishments and shortcomings in life, and see how blessed I am to have made it this far.
Though the changes I’ve made so far are small, the opportunities these changes offer are endless. We can learn a lot about life, ourselves, and others if we try new things. While some new things may be more beneficial than others, the experience of the good, the bad, and everything in between builds character, which in turn allows us to gain perspective and wisdom.
Now I admit I am still learning to accept these changes and am far from comfortable with some of the things I have tried. However, I am trying and will continue to try my best. Some of the changes may be long term, others short lived, depending on how well I do or do not adapt. It will be a learning process, one that will take time, effort, patience, and other’s help along the way.
Life is a journey of changes. May we see these changes as opportunities instead of obstacles. May we learn to listen more along the way so we can fully experience life’s many blessings, including nature and silence’s song. May we also be thankful for all the miles, be they easy, hard, fast, slow, or somewhere in between.
When Silence’s Song is Heard
The sky was so beautiful today,
Light blue and full of clouds that made
Their shapes turn and perform
Like actors in a play put on before
The world to see and experience
Nature’s beauty within the lives we live,
Along with lessons to be learned
When silence’s song is heard.
Without words, the sky conveyed
Wonder about the universe displayed
In the colors and the hues
Ranging from yellow to blue,
And many others in between
Offering plenty to contemplate within the sea
Of life moving around and around
Through nature’s ways unbound,
Running strong through the river’s turns
When silence’s song is heard.
And as the light moved through the sky,
The soul found delight in the heavens wide,
Full of nature’s beauty and grace
Offered to thee as an escape
With opportunities to live, grow, and dream
Along the road within the journey
Of bends and lessons learned
When silence’s song is heard.
-Lisa A. Wisniewski