When I was younger, on warm summer evenings, cars passing by on the road located directly in front of our farm would stop. I would see young and old alike pull over on that rocky shoulder and step out of their vehicles. They stood for a moment, surveying the pastures and grassy hills until they locked eyes on the prize: the cows. Some would point, others would photograph, and once a movie set even stopped and filmed a scene right on that shoulder just to have a background of cows.
That was years ago.
Old route 97 still remains- and in fact, it's busier than ever. The cows still stand too- big and black as ever. But no one ever stops.
No one stops to watch the cows.
They pass by our little acreage well on their way to the events of their days- their calendars and schedules brimming with activity.
I don't even stop and watch the cows. In fact, if I was honest, I don't even know how many cows we currently own.
When did I grow so busy? When did YOU grow so busy?
When did I start compromising other areas in my life like sleep, family time, and enjoying the simple pleasures of farm life for a schedule stealing my time and attention?
When did I start feeling guilty for taking a much-needed nap?
Why do I feel badly for simply sitting still?
Driving to work this morning, I felt pressured in a thousand different avenues. The rain pelted my car and slowed the commute, emails that needed drafting consumed my thoughts, five people texted me, my boss was calling, I was about to hydroplane off the highway, and Mother's Day is this weekend?!
Realizing I needed to reprioritize or my parents would be peeling my body off the highway, I declined the call, hit "vibrate" on my phone, forgot about the emails, and clicked the wipers to the next notch.
Is it so wrong to want to sit in silence on my 30-minute commute and pray, breathe, and survive this drive?
People are always going to need you. Emails will always need to be sent. It's up to you to decide how much your life can handle. Because, at the end of the day, who is penning those obligations into your calendar? It's you, buckaroo.
Decide to do one thing every day (or week) that relaxes or refreshes you. Even Jesus walked away from people for a moment in the wilderness. If you feel like there is absolutely no way to add a breather to your day then take a deeper look at that calendar and see what consumes your time.
Last week, in the midst of a crazy month, I drove to a concert after work. And I sat for two hours listening to one of my favorite bands as their harmonies and melodies filled the quiet stage. I actually sat there in the darkened audience and bawled because it had been a while since I had just sat and enjoyed a moment.
Don't be like me and weep at concerts. Unless that sounds cool or "hipsterish" to you. Learn your limits.
Give your soul a rest, and go watch the cows.
And count them too. Just in case they try to escape.