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A week in my life



This time a year ago, I had begun a new life of living in community. I had the luxury and gift of time and used it to be involved with a homeless and marginalized community, playing music at a nursing home and offering hospitality and leadership in various aspects of my community. I had the time to spend an entire Friday cooking for my housemates, to read and reflect, to drink amble amounts of coffee at the numerous places around me with friends. And that year was a beautiful gift of time and learning.

But life has now changed considerably. This has been beautiful and wonderful and I feel very blessed. This radical shift in how I spend my time has had its challenges – for both me and for those who became used to my free schedule. I often feel stuck in a perpetual letting everyone down sort of feeling as the emails, phone messages and invites pile up and it takes weeks for me to answer them. I discovered the other day that if I don’t check my phone messages within 10 days my phone provider automatically deletes them!

It’s been challenging to create balance too and to learn when to say no and when to forget my to do list for a bit. I’m really grateful for a good friend who called me up last night saying that she was picking me up to take me out for dinner because I needed a break and to get out.

So here is a glimpse of my weeks…

Mondays I typically have free until my evening social psychology class. But don’t be fooled – “free” doesn’t mean I am free to do anything want. Rather, it means free to study. Social psychology is a fun class as I love the topic, although the professor is the author of our textbook and very rarely is there something in the lecture that is not in the textbook. I just stated to walk again with my housemate and a long time friend bright and early and evenings at our house end with prayer at 10:30pm.

Tuesday is my killer day. I have African studies, Neuroscience and an evening course on child development. I’m usually toast by the end of Tuesday.

Wednesday I have probably my favourite course and tutorial – community engagement. I love this course and am learning so much – and it taps into my interests in social justice issues. I lead prayer at 10:30.

Thursday I work for a few hours taking care of this beautiful 6 month old. He smiles when he sees me and makes me laugh along with him. He is such a happy kid. Each week – especially as I study child development – I am realizing over and over what a privilege I have to be a part of this child’s emotional, cognitive and social growth. The early few years of life are so important for a child – and I get to see him develop and to teach and encourage him. What a beautiful job I have! And then it’s back to the books, although I do have meetings sometimes to attend.

Friday is usually pretty free and then I babysit again in the evening which typically means I make sure the condo doesn’t burn down as I study neuroscience for four straight hours – and get paid for that – how cool is that?!

Saturdays are never the same except usually I am studying. (a common theme! my days of procrastination are long over! bring on the hard work!)

Sundays I work as the children’s sunday school director at a church. This has tapped into my creative side and brings out a lot of my life experiences. I usually leave there brainstorming ways to help the sunday school grow in numbers as well as spiritually. Sunday night we have a house meal together and a house meeting.

And then the week begins again.

In the mire of midterms, I frequently looked back to a year ago when time was open and free, longing for those days. But honestly, I don’t think I would trade what I have now for the world. I love being a student. I love learning. And I am pursuing my dreams and seeing results that reward my hardwork.

And I am realizing again and again that I STILL have the gift of time – just the gift is used differently.

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