In the Meantime: Small Moments

In the meantime times can be embedded in the small moments of each day as well as in larger period of times in our lives. Think of the times we have a date later in the day and may not have much planned for us earlier. Or the times when we have to be at work at 1:00 p.m. and it is 9:00 a.m. and we don't know how best to use our time. Or when our children are finally all napping and what do we do with our time, not knowing how long this will last. There are so many little examples of daily in the meantimes. In these cases are we looking at how we can be useful or purposeful during those times, or are we just wanting time to pass quickly, or are we trying to quickly get our chores done…..the choice is ours.

As a child I have so many memories of long, blank feeling days, and wondering what I could do before dinner. Mom fixes dinner, mom cleans the house, I have no plans with friends or activities, and what do I do? I remember those days as being so long and taking forever. In my house as I was growing up, my mom had four children within 6 years of each other. She was overwhelmed and her time and energy was taken up with daily chores, feeling depressed, taking care of who needs her help or is in crisis so she wasn't available to me often in the way I needed or wanted. I felt at a loss, with little direction. I can remember doing things to fill up the time, and just helplessly waiting for dinner. This was a long in the meantime. What do I do to fill out my day...

Many children have experiences such as above. Time seems to take forever when we have little or no control over our days. What I would have given to had had an agenda, or some direction…..but I didn't. What I learned from those times is how to be creative and find things to do which keeps my mind and body active. I felt better when I was active, so I would take my family dog for a walk, or take a bike ride or read a book or play with my dolls.  I would also get lost in my imagination and imagine what I was going to do when I grew up and I would watch movies on television on occasion which often inspired me. The movies that were popular during my young years were the movies with Shirley Temple who sang and danced her way through the movies. Now as I look back on those times I think those old movies helped to give me the idea that I wanted to learn to dance. My parents grew up during the Great Depression and they didn't think about dance lessons, they grew up with outdoor sports as their proclivities. These long periods of time helped me to find on my own my budding love for dance. I didn't realize it at that time, but looking back, they certainly shaped my desire to dance and to be in the theatre in some sense.

I find that those in the meantimes have the potential to help us to have the down time to go inside of us and to find things we didn't know we had or were even capable of. They help us to grow and develop different parts of ourselves. And on the other hand, I have seen many people who use those times to just sit and watch television and develop the couch potato mentality. I have watched people just check out, yet the opportunity is there for us to use those times unconsciously and well as consciously to be inspired, to integrate parts of us, to get the courage to try something new, and so on.

My soothing words of wisdom for the week is about comfort zones:


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