Remembering to savor my free time

As I opened up my word processing program to write this, I looked at the clock. It’s 9:55 AM on a Saturday morning.

For a minute, I felt my heart lurch in my chest. The store opens in five minutes! I’m still in pajamas! How am I going to be ready to open by 10?

And then I remembered something joyous and glorious: this is only the third Saturday morning in six months I’ve been hanging out at home instead of opening the store. The first Saturday morning off was Christmas Eve, the second was when I was at a conference in January, and the third is today—I’ve switched shifts with one of my booksellers.

Ah, it’s beautiful. Even though I make my own bookshop work schedule and have at least three mornings a week at my house, there’s something extra special about having a commitment-free Saturday morning, particularly one in the spring. I drank my coffee outside today, amazed at how much greener and full the trees and plants look since yesterday’s long-awaited rain. Now I’m inside, sitting at this computer, but the front door is wide open and I can hear a chorus of birds chirping.

These are the moments I say I most treasure, but when they are presented to me I often forget to take them in and really appreciate them. In particularly stressful situations, I find myself wishing for a book, a glass of water or tea, and an outdoor lounging spot. Certain days I feel as if this very idea acts as a light at the end of the tunnel, a rainbow after a storm: I work towards being able to take the time to sit outside and relax and read, but when the opportunity arises, I don’t always take it. Sometimes I keep working or I screw around on Facebook or I check my email again.

So today, during my few hours off, I am going to make a concerted effort to focus on how lovely it is outside. I am going to do what I love (writing, blogging, reading, spending time outdoors, spending time with Jim) before I go into the bookshop this afternoon to work my wonderful shift.

Am I alone here? Do you ever have to remind yourself to savor the restful times you look forward to? How do you make sure you take advantage of your glorious free time?

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