Through the gate is something more. Does it make you wonder? What lies beyond the garden gate? What majesty? What splendor?
Or are you busy rushing by, not taking time to notice. Does every moment have you booked, tick-tock, your time is over….wake up tomorrow, do it again..tick-tock…tick-tock…tick-tock.
Busyness. Rushing around. Fitting it all in. Adding one more thing to the already over loaded to-do list. Juggling all the balls up in the air. Praying, hoping they will just stay up there. Somehow.
God, it’s exhausting.
Where is the balance? Where is the peace and tranquility? Where is the time for creativity, family, laughter?
At the Garden Gate.
At the garden gate, if you choose to open the gate and walk in, you will find the peace you are looking for. You will find the time to spend with family. You can paint. You can play. You can read, You can play ball, go for walks, exercise, whatever you want to do. Go fishing. What do you want to do beyond the gate? What dream have you been putting on hold? It can happen.
You just have to make that choice. Go ahead. Walk through the gate.
But….if I walk through the gate….I won’t have time for………
What? Finish that thought. What are the time wasters that are keeping you from walking through the Garden Gate?
Over-promised with commitments that really aren’t that important to you anymore but you don’t know how to get out of?
Over-extended with family and friend obligations that feel like *have-to* events that cut into meaningful family time?
Over-prioritizing unnecessary time-wasters like Internet, computer games, TV that are really just procrastination devices?
Overwhelmed with disorganized habits and clutter that slow you down and cause you to be inefficient with your time?
What others? There are more, many more.
What can we do to get closer to the gate? To open it more often? At least get in for a visit now and then. Maybe hang out on the weekends for starters. Then work our way up to an hour or two every day. After awhile, you may realize a wonderful surprise. It is possible to LIVE in the garden all the time. It can become a lifestyle. It isn’t easy at first, and it takes breaking some habits. But it’s worth it. The garden is a beautiful, peaceful, wonderful place to live where you have time to explore your hobbies and spend time with families and friends, and enjoy long interesting conversations filled with laughter and fun.
Here are a few of the things that our family has done to enjoy more time beyond the Garden Gate.
Turn off the TV. Unless we are enjoying a family night watching a movie together with popcorn and the whole fun deal, the TV isn’t on. No sitcoms, no news, no droning on in the background sucking away our attention. We are free to pay attention to each other and play with each other.
Reduce clutter, get organized This is an on-going challenge. We have been on a mission for the past two years to reduce any and all clutter and unnecessary gadgets and materialistic *stuff* from our lives. Result? Less stuff=less to clean and take care of. Easier ability to organize the important things that we do want to keep. That means more family time to play.
Prioritize value of commitments. We took a hard look at the groups, clubs and meetings we were a part of and started analyzing their value to our family. It was an eye-opener! We began the process of evaluating our commitments differently. Time started showing up right there! This is a constant review that is always being re-evaluated. What are your family values? How do your commitments measure up?
Schedule time for things you want to do. Get your family’s stuff on the calendar FIRST. It is going to be much easier to say “Oh, I’m so sorry we can’t make it to the 100th birthday party this month, we already have something on the calendar” when you actually DO have something on the calendar. There isn’t any reason to mention that the calendar says “spend the entire day playing with our family.” Your family is priority number one. AND oh by the way…so are you.
Plan dinner time. Bringing back the family dinner time in the dining room has done more to slow down our lives then all the rest. Planning menus ahead of time, being prepared and having a relaxing, non-rushed dinner with a set table, candles and everyone enjoying conversation has been a wonderful experience. There have been many evenings that we have sat chatting and laughing all the way until bedtime. I strongly recommend the return of candle-lit dining room dinners as often as possible. They are magical!
Through the Garden Gate is a simpler time with more focus on getting back to basics, nature, family and good friends. Spending quality time doing the things that are truly important to you, not the things that are on your *should* list or your *I feel guilty so I have to* list. It’s not a life built around keeping up with the latest gadgets and the ‘Jones’ and making sure you are on the right side of the Star-Bellied Sneetches this week. It’s about letting go. Cutting back. Focusing on the Truly Important.
Would you care to join us beyond the Garden Gate? It’s beautiful in here. Come on in…