If I'm curious of something, I can drive to the library and either pick up a few books or just spend the day sitting in one of the armchairs, reading comfortably. I can look up videos and tutorials on how to learn new skills or enhance old ones. I can watch historical movies, or shows that focus on a culture I am not acquainted with and learn more about how others live their lives. Biographies have become this girl's best friends - I am immensely enjoying taking a peek into the lives of others who have gone before and applying wisdom that they gained through their experiences to my own life. I am able to take college courses that interest me at the local community college at very little cost.
I have time that could be spent to strengthen relationships with my friends, family, and those who I'd like to be closer to - people I look up to, people who I would like to emulate in some ways, people who incite me to follow God more fully, to trust in Him more completely, and to love Him more wholeheartedly.
There are adventures I am free to have and interests I am capable of pursuing. There are character traits I'd like to have that I have time to work on and things on my bucket list I would love to scratch off. There are stories in my head, begging to be written and insistently returning to my mind every so often, reminding me that I have time to write now. I can make those recipes I've been wanting to try for awhile. I can research what it was like for the Celts and the Norse people, the Anglo-Saxons and the Scots of long ago. I could host a English tea party if I liked, or a sleepover, or I could see if my far-away friends could make a trip down to stay at my house. I could crochet dolls and animals to sell, or even to donate to children who are shut up in the hospital all day. I could take up sewing again, and make some of my own skirts and dresses and accessories. If the fancy took me, I could try cross-stitching and embroidery again, or even latch hook pieces.
I have more time to spend than I tend to think I do, and in making such a mistake, I often waste the time I do not remember I've been given to steward. I abuse the opportunity I have through technology and spend hours scrolling, scrolling, scrolling... what a mindless pursuit of nothings! It would be better not to have it than to use it as I do sometimes!
Here's a thought: what if, rather than spending my "unfilled" time with social media and internet articles that don't concern me, I met up with a friend and we had a encouraging conversation and learned how to build each other up in our respective walks with Christ? What if, instead of snatching my phone on my lunch break at work, I read another book from my reading list that I've been meaning to read for months? Rather than sleeping in late, I got up early and got to work, accomplishing everything I need to that day so that I can spend quality time with my family later? What if I didn't procrastinate on things I knew I would eventually have to sit down and do? What if I had the self-discipline to shut down distractions and everything that tried to stand in the way of my growth in my Lord and Savior? What if...?
Oh, what a lot of what-if's. They thrill and fascinate me, and I so often forget that I am the one to which they are so pointedly aimed.
In five short weeks, I leave for an internship in South Carolina - nearly nine hours away from where me and my family live. I could not be more excited to be pursuing this longing, but I also do not intend to use this short time left at home as an excuse not to put much effort in. It is easy for me to fall into the trap of "It's not worth the effort because I'm not here for much longer anyway."
In direct defiance of this, I plan to work on specific areas of my character while I wait for this adventure to begin - areas that will help me regardless of where I am or what I'm doing.
1) Getting up at six every morning and sticking to a stricter bedtime
2) Limiting phone time to thirty minutes or less every day
3) Keeping personal areas (like my crafty corner in my bedroom) clean and orderly
4) Only checking social media 2-3 days a week (likely Mondays and Fridays)
5) Journaling on a daily basis (even if it's just to jot down a few sentences!)
These seemingly minor goals are ones that I ought to have drilled into me already, but I have neglected them sadly. They are all small things that could be easily conquered with self-discipline, which is the main reason I am working on them. Once these have been accomplished and lived out, I will move on the next goals; I never want to stop growing and learning and serving, and through this kind of growing, I am able to learn and serve more.