A typical weekday in the life of this Veggie looks something like this:
6:00 AM – Wake to blaring alarm (when it works)
6:05 – 6:30 AM – Coffee, breakfast, check email to wake brain
6:30 – 6:45 AM – Dress for work
6:45 – 6:55 AM – Pack laptop bag and lunch
6:55 – 7:30 AM – Commute to work (depending on traffic)
7:30 AM – 3:30 PM – Work
3:30 – 4:30 PM -Commute home from work
4:30 – 5:00 PM – Change clothing; pack bag for swimming
5:05 – 5:10 PM – Commute to YMCA
5:15 – 7:30 PM – Teach swimming lessons
7:30 – 8:00 PM – Shower; change clothes again; commute home
8:00 – 9:00 PM – Eat dinner and hang with husband
9:00 – 9:30 PM – Wind down and get ready for bed
And then I try to go to bed between 9:30 and 10:00 PM (try being the operative word) because I have to get up again at 6:00 AM the next day. Unless, of course, it is Saturday – then I get to sleep until 7:45 AM!
(I love sleep, and think it is super underrated. Just saying.)
As someone who actively promotes incorporation of religion and religious work into every day life, and who tries to do so as well, you can imagine how frustrating I find my weekday schedule. It reminds me of the struggle some people have about adding an exercise regimen to an already packed schedule…and religious work is something I actually want to do on a daily basis. But, when I already get up at sparrowfart (in the dark!) and come home exhausted (also in the dark!), how the fuck am I going to fit religious work into my schedule?
The answer took quite some time to find and I still don’t think I have things perfect, although my religious path is all about making attempts and, if they fail, owning the failure and making adjustments. I find the constant reworking of actions to be frustrating, honestly – after all, I somehow believe that my own actions should be perfect the first time around! But, through trial and error, and a lot of swearing, I’ve found ways to incorporate religious work into the few quiet spaces I have.
Take this morning, for example. This morning, I left for work early enough that I could stop at a nationally-known coffee chain (PUMPKIN SPICE ALL THE THINGS!), and got coffee and a scone. On the way to get said coffee, I said prayers to wake the netjeru, and after returning to the car loot in hand I offered them both as ka refreshment. Before leaving the parking lot, I dialed up some Kemetic meditation music, and then drove to work, not touching coffee or scone or iPod for fifteen minutes. Once the meditation music was complete, I reverted the offerings and slowly sipped my coffee, giving myself over to the liquid bliss that is the nectar of Caffeinea…
(Um, yeah. I might have a coffee problem.)
Doing the above put me in that mindset of, “All I do is for ma’at,” that I believe is so necessary for Kemetics in general, and for my own path in particular and I feel more equipped to deal with whatever my day might throw at me (three meetings, chasing down people for signatures on documents, and a private swimming lesson at a different YMCA than I usually inhabit.) I’m calmer and more focused than usual, and I know it’s because I took the time to do the things I wanted/needed to do along with some time for breathing.
Now, obviously what I did this morning will not work for everyone. Hell, there are mornings when I can’t do it either – morning when I move more slowly than usual, or can’t find the right thing to wear, or have to deal with a hairball, or don’t get coffee before work (a sin, I know). But I keep trying to find things I can do to make me mindful for just a bit, to remind me that religion does not have to sit on a separate shelf from life. At the risk of appearing to proselytize, I think everyone who claims a religious bent of any variety can try to make time for the Baby Steps needed to begin incorporating the two and, eventually, the trying will become doing and the benefits will be more tangible.
Things to Think About:
- Do you try to incorporate religious work into parts of your life that wouldn’t normally have such a component? If so, how? If not, why not?
- What would you (or do you) expect to get from such an exercise?