Wednesday, October 3, 2012

The Art of "Free" Time

Yesterday, I wrote about carving out time and other resources to serve others and to be involved in community.  Sometimes, I feel like the issue is a two sided coin. On the one hand it take intentionality and long sustained effort to truly build connections with others, on the other hand spontaneity and free time are often the cornerstones of the most meaningful adventures, discoveries, and friendships in our lives.

Have you ever had the experience of sitting next someone on the bus or in an adjacent office for so long that after a time you form a friendship?  Sometimes, those can be the very best connections.  All it takes is a moment to look up from your desk and chat, or a minute to look up from your book on the bus and comment about the weather and next thing you know a friendship is formed.

When we first moved to Seattle, I made a point to say yes to every invitation we received.  If a neighbor asked if I wanted to go for a walk to the park,  I would drop whatever I had to in order to make time to go.  We needed friends, and we needed those connections.  Yes, often times I was half way through a sink full of dishes or it was just a half an hour before nap time- but I made room for those spontaneous chances to connect with others through out the day.  I had to!  If I didn't we wouldn't have any friends.  And sometimes, that might be my only adult interaction for the day. 

It's a balance, one that is in some ways still a mystery to me.  Planning dinners, get togethers, back yard bashes, joining clubs, and volunteering, etc.   But, also having free time available for whatever or whoever should come along.

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