What’s my capacity?
The question has been rattling around in my brain for a few days now. I often think in terms of energy, values or even seasons of life to describe what I can or can’t, will or won’t do. But I’m wondering if I need to expand my categories.
To be sure, available energy at any point in life plays a key role in my degree of involvement. In younger years I could sleep less, do more and carry on effectively. Or did I?
In the season of pain, surgery and recovery, participation in activities of any sort was carefully weighed and measured by their significance. If they didn’t connect with my core values - and sometimes even when they did - I bowed out. Survival depended on those choices.
So what about capacity?
The term “capacity” has eight definitions; almost all of them refer to the highest limit something or someone can hold or take in, put out or produce. It’s about a full cup.
When my children were preschoolers I recall being a little judgmental of 50-something women, wondering what they spent their time doing and why they weren’t more involved in church ministries I led. I’m sorry, ladies. I get it now.
The breadth to which I can be spread as my family grows and my body ages is simply different now. No longer can I bounce from activity to involvement without some downtime between to reflect and sort. The longer I live I gain riches from experience, and sorrows from losses. I am not interested in glossing over either. I want to soak in and drink up both for they add to the fabric of who I am.
It seems to me that capacity is more fluid than static, subjective than clear cut. And, more and more I see it needing to be frequently revisited to ask, “Does this activity still fit or do I need to let it go to make room for less doing and more being or something different?” Or maybe I need to ponder, “How are the emotional, spiritual, psychological, relational pulls in my life adding joy or creating stress? Do I need to create margin to allow God time to help me process those areas?”
With love and gratitude,
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In The Midst