The question is: how can we get the most rest and rejuvenation from our limited amount of potential free time? If we aren't careful, our moments of leisure can easily be squandered by catching up on random chores, surfing Netflix for something decent to watch, or scrolling down the Facebook newsfeed. Then, when our next responsibility arrives, we're no more revived than we were before.
Another alternative to this scenario is to stay in constant motion, bouncing from one to-do item to the next until we fall into bed at night, hoping to get whatever we need of downtime in our 6 hours of sleep. Of course, this method leads to burnout and to bigger, more dramatic down times (such as getting sick), while leaving very little room for breathing deeply, imagining, and dreaming.
The writer Brenda Ueland coined a great term: "moodling". She wrote, "So you see, imagination needs moodling -- long, inefficient, happy idling, dawdling, and puttering."
I propose we schedule time for regular "moodling" as we would for any other appointment on our calendar. Make a commitment to moodle for 15 minutes a day, or twice a week, or for an hour each weekend -- then stick to it.
Here is what I think will happen when we do:
We will realize that we are unused to playing, relaxing, and puttering. That our moodling muscles are weak from underuse. But if we stick with it anyway, however awkwardly at first... If we learn to moodle as a commitment and a gift to our hungry, harried souls... We will reclaim a sense and a means of simple, easeful, happiness.
P.S. I would love to hear about your moodling in the comments below!