I find myself choosing to be alone. I like to stroll through neighborhoods and glance into windows, looking at either meticulously planted shrubs, or noticing that the residents of a certain home haven’t quite shoveled the steps since the snow started. I like to be alone because you are able to notice things that you haven’t before; you get to wander and observe the details that make up the minutes in our lives.
Yesterday I found myself walking to church in the middle of the day. Now, it was Ash Wednesday, so it wasn’t out of the normalcy to go to church during the workday. But, I went alone. I was able to sit in the wooden pews of an old stone structure and stare at the kaleidoscope of colors coming from the windows. I was able to dedicate myself to a community for an hour to simply listen.
This year, I’m trying to focus on myself. I want to learn more of what makes me happy, grow as a person, disconnect from the lenses of society and wander into the unknown. I find that each week has become predictable, and I simply want to notice new details.
Through this challenge, I’ve decided to reconnect with my faith. The past couple of months have tested me beyond belief – through family illness, death, divorce, and heartbreak. It’s easy to be frustrated, to question the sequence of events, and to stray. And, I did that. All of the above.
And then I realized that everything in life is out of my control. Whatever His plan is for me, I must accept and have faith in the bigger picture. I’m taking these challenges as an opportunity to learn, grow and reflect. And the only thing that I can control is how I make others feel and the service I give back.
But, back to church. As we talked about Lent and the sacrifice that we are willing to make, I used my “alone” time for greater good. I usually give up soda, sweets, coffee, or anything else that gives me a slight addiction. One year I gave up cereal and I had actual WITHDRAWAL. People, I ate two boxes of Special K on Easter and threw up grains for days.
But I digress (because you probably don’t want to hear about my bodily functions).
This year, I am giving up an intangible object with the hopes of learning more about myself. I’m giving up my time.
We all know how much I love grandpas, so I am going to give my time to the elderly in need, whether it be cooking them meals, taking them to the doctor, or simply listening to their most coveted stories.
It only took time alone to realize that time given is invaluable