I can't say that things are settled or "back to normal" in our household following the death of my mom. We are still reeling with the reality of her not being with us. But we are trying to figure it out.
I am having difficulty getting my schedule together. Initially in the first few days we were in emergency mode; things scheduled or planned had to be postponed. The focus was on my dad and what needed to be done. Part of that scheduling was dictated by how my dad felt- did he need one of us to stay over, spend the day with him, etc? He is still very raw with his grief but he is wanting to have some space and time alone which we want to give him.
I try to contact or see him every day. But looking forward I am noticing that I have a week coming up where I won't be able to see him for about five days and I am feeling anxious about it. How can I rearrange things to be there? How did these things creep in when I was trying to have an open schedule?
I think part of it happened because I don't have a set time on the calendar for my visits with my dad. I know that eventually we will but for now we are still in the "this is new territory for us" and "we shall see how each day goes" mode. When my mom was alive, I would see the folks at least every other week for scheduled outings. We would also check in with one another every three days or so.
It reminds me that if we don't schedule regular time with one another, it does not happen. Oh sure, we can have the spontaneous, "Hey, what are you doing for lunch today?" gathering but generally we don't. They say nature abhors a vacuum. I think in our modern culture, schedules abhor a blank space. We will spend our time in a variety of unproductive ways that don't accomplish our overall plans if we are not diligent and intentional about how we spend out time.
I have noticed that if things are not purposely planned, we end up with a "full schedule" of activities that just appear. If we want to spend time with someone it is generally with any "leftover" time. It is almost if we think if I have time after I do such and such, then I will visit. Truthfully, when does that really happen?
I have also noticed that many approach our time with God the same way. Only when we have time "left over" we might pray or read the Bible. Lately I have changed my daily schedule in that reading the Bible and praying is the first thing that I do upon waking. Once I do that, it seems as if the rest of my day falls into place. It is doing the first thing, the important thing- first.
Going forward with my dad, I know that once we have a set schedule, ie. visits every Monday, then I can fill in the rest of my time with the activities and obligations that I need and want to do. When I intentionally have a regular plan with our visits, the rest will fall into place. Plus I will have the added benefit of knowing that I did the important thing first.
What about you? Do you find your time being spent in ways which aren't productive? Do you find that you can never schedule time to see and visit the people with whom you want? Have you ever spent your time first scheduling the important items and then filling in with other activities? How did that go? Does your time get spent without your input or do you spend your time wisely? How is your time spent?