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Having a three-day weekend has been a great reminder of the need for unscheduled time. Too often I make lists as long as my leg for a weekend that couldn’t be completed in a week.  I’ll clean the house, do laundry, cook enough food to take lunches all week, read an entire book, journal, run, spend time in the hammock, call my parents and three friends, write a letter, play my guitar that’s been sitting still for months, practice Spanish, kayak on the river and go to the movies with my husband. Meanwhile I’ve forgotten plans we’ve made to hang out with friends for one afternoon. Does anyone else do that or am I in need of an intervention?

This weekend, even with the extra day, I lowered my expectations (a running theme these days that’s panning out well) and let serendipity take over. When I woke early, I ran (while the weather was cooler) and if I slept in I figured I needed it. I cleaned a little and did laundry, but I also read books and took naps. We sat on the porch and drank coffee and went to the theater. I also talked with my parents, did a little wedding planning and spent time with our kids and friends. It really felt like effortless doing. My friend Crystal would dig that.

And I feel refreshed, less stressed, able to relish the coming event of my daughter’s wedding rather than freak out about what isn’t done. Able to think about our new set up (we recently moved) and how to keep making things work better. Able to be a little more patient and thoughtful (maybe I should check with my husband on that). Ah…the beauty of unscheduled time. As with other simplification techniques, it takes an intentional effort to make it part of my normal routine. Maybe I should schedule some unscheduled time for next weekend.