Thoughts on Work, Play, Order, and Time

A couple of weeks ago, I attended a lecture given at our town’s historical society on the history of dance in New Hampshire. One of the points that the lecturer (a dance caller and fiddler from Vermont) made was that people were zealous for and supportive of local dances. He said that in the 1930′s, within a few miles radius, you could find a dance any day of the week and that they would last into the wee hours of the morning.

Dear friends of our at a dance.
People then and even in earlier times, would come in from a hard day’s work on the farm, clean up, and go to the local contra dance. That’s quite amazing when you consider how labor intensive life was “back in the day”, how tired they must’ve been after a day’s labor. The lecturer said that today, “…we have all these great labor saving devices, so that we have time to do nothing.” Funny. Ironic.

But that got me thinking a lot about time and how it’s used. And October is probably the month of the year when I need to and want to live by the “work hard, play hard” adage. There is so much work to be done between now and the end of the year. And there are so many fun, seasonal things to do at this time of year. And knowing my tendency to be very task-oriented, it would be easy for me to push aside the fun and just keep my nose to the grindstone. But all work and no play makes me a very dull girl. On the other hand, having fun, fun, fun would not be “redeeming the time” well. “Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil.” (Eph. 5:15-16)

Photo from Old Sturbridge Village.
So one day, while I was working on a sewing project (trying the redeem my time well), I had so many to-do’s floating through my head that I asked Colette to take down a list for me while I dictated it to her. (I also thought it would be a good exercise for her to see all the tasks that a homemaker has on her plate. And in fact, part way through the list, she asked, “How do you keep all this in your head?”) I told her everything I could think of that needed to be done, both work and fun, between now and the end of the year. By the time we were done, the list had more than 60 items on it!

Then, as a way of keeping myself accountable to God, I took the list and categorized it. Since God calls me “to be busy at home” (Titus 2:5), I wanted to make sure that most of my tasks were, indeed, keeping me busy at home. I divided the list into the following categories:

- Phone Calls and Internet

- Purchases and Errands

- Fun Excursions

- Lap Work (meaning work I can do while sitting and waiting, at the end of the day, etc.)

- Ongoing Out-of-the-Home

- Days at Home

I knew, as I began to pull things off the list and put them in the categories, that if I had too many things in categories that took me away from home, then it would say that my priorities were not right, and I would have to make some adjustments.

A further look in my next posting!

1 comment:

  1. Wonderful reminder to us all to be careful what consumes us. Thank you!


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