I’ve just been away with the girls.  It’s been planned for ages – 12 of us staying in an ecobarn in the depths of the Yorkshire Dales for a weekend.  I’ll quickly skip past the journey (I’m surprised that the paintwork on the side of my car isn’t totally destroyed) and go onto Saturday.

I have to say that in the run-up, I wasn’t looking forward to going.  I’m one of these people that struggles with things that are out of my comfort-zone, yet often thoroughly enjoy them once I am there.  It wasn’t that I didn’t want to spend the time with the people that were going, but more that I like certainty.  Going away with so many different personalities means that there is less chance of things happening when I expect them to.

Knowing what is happening

And one thing I do like is knowing what is happening.  I like to know when I’m having my next meal, and if I know what is on the menu, even better.  The discussions we’d had about maybe having a big Time: spinning aroundbreakfast and no lunch filled me with dread – this is not what I normally do.  I like to eat at around the same time every day.

But, to my surprise, I found it really refreshing.  I wasn’t required to make decisions – I could allow others to do this for me.  I did feel the need to point out that we ought to leave the coffee shop in order to complete our walk in the daylight, but apart from that, I allowed others to be in charge.

Allowing others to be in charge

Perhaps this is because I have to be so aware of time in my everyday life.  Up in the morning, leaving for school, off to certain groups, finish them on time, pick up the children from school, feed them, take them to an activity, pick them up on time, get them to bed early enough that they will alright the next day…  And so it carries on.  Even at the weekend I need to make sure they eat at the right sort of time so that they don’t get too grumpy.

I set an alarm on my phone each day so that I can work in the afternoons without having to think about when I need to leave.  Otherwise I would spend the whole time making sure that I know how long I have left.  However, it is rarely a surprise when my alarm goes off, so I must still have some awareness of what the time is.

Sense of responsibility

I did feel a sense of responsibility for leaving the ecobarn in time to be at the pub for lunch, particularly Time: spinning aroundas I was the one who had booked the meal.  I had to reign myself in and once I had suggested a time of departure, let everyone to sort themselves out.

Having the freedom to forget about time was liberating.  Don’t get me wrong – I missed my family, and would not want to spend many weekends away from them.  Allowing others to take responsibility was exhilarating.  It was a lesson to me that I can benefit from time away from the clock, and that letting others take control can be a good thing.

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