I rode my bike past a very beautiful, large house today. I frequently ride by this house and am always in admiration of the nicely tended yard and landscaping. The general appearance. It is an older home. Not fancy or ostentatious. Just spacious and well tended.
As I rode past it today, however, I had a different set of thoughts run through my brain. It occurred to me that while the house is large and well maintained, it requires a lot of attention and work to get and keep it like that.
If left alone for any length of time it would still be the same size, but not nearly as nice. The time and effort invested gives it great curb appeal. If the grass wasn’t mowed and the pool wasn’t maintained this house would just look like a ramshackle neglected eyesore.
As I pedaled I contemplated how this is true about a lot of things in life. I thought of different areas where this applies and asked myself (not out loud) about things I should take care of, to the best of my ability.
I need to make sure that I take care of myself spiritually, physically, emotionally and intellectually. This encompasses such things as reading, eating better, thinking, having fun, exercising. Getting enough sleep is important as well.
In order for relationships to thrive I have to invest time, compassion and be willing to communicate. Communication, of course, involves talking AND listening.
There’s always stuff to do, isn’t there? Cars to fix, a roof to fix, a leaky faucet that needs repair. Putting off doing those things doesn’t magically make the problem go away. If anything, neglect usually makes it worse.
Taking care of the talents I’ve been entrusted with means that I have to acknowledge that I have gifts and talents. It can be awkward because many of us have spent much of our lives equating false modesty with humility. When I use the gifts I’ve been given to help others or make the world better then arrogance has no place.
Ah, this is a challenge for me. I do not like it when others squander my time. It makes me cranky. I am perfectly capable of wasting time myself, thank you very much. If I don’t take care of the time I am allotted then it is gone, never available again. NEVER.
That is sobering. If you think I mean every moment needs to be filled with work or activity then I have not explained myself very well. What I do mean is that I am responsible for the way I use my time. It is my fault if I get talked into doing things I don’t want to do just because I feel badly about saying no.
I notice a few common factors about taking care. Taking care means I am deliberate in my choices.
Just as the owners of the beautiful home that I ride past are deliberate in the upkeep of their abode (at least the outside) I too must make the effort in all of the items above.
Things don’t get done unless we do them, or get someone else to do them.
I have to pay attention, put aside procrastination and be deliberate.
What would you add? What areas fall into disrepair if not concentrated upon in your life?
Thank you for reading!