Today I have an exciting book to share with you!
How many times have you run into a friend or an acquaintance that you haven’t seen in a little while and you ask each other the inevitable question:
“How have you been?”
What is one of the most frequent answers to this question?
It seems that everyone is busier and busier these days and yet a common complaint among mothers (and fathers) is that they have so much on their plate and very little time for the things that they enjoy or the things that give them a sense of identity as an individual. And who can blame them? Between child rearing, working, housekeeping, shuttling to and from activities, homework (or your own schoolwork), shopping, and meal preparation, who has time for anything else? Even with all, so many of us seem to be sinking into a rat race of day-to-day activities and we are less content and happy with our lives. We often feel a lack of purpose and value and we often don’t live with any sense of intentionality. Anxiety and depression are on the rise, especially for women in their child rearing ages leading to health problems of every type.
This all leads to the question: “Is there an answer to this dilemma?”
Although there are many aspects to a healthy, happy life, one of the best ways to creating satisfaction is to feed the need we all have to engage in activities that tend to our spirits. This isn’t a one size fits all set of steps. The secret is simply to find what activities make you feel happy. These activities are the ones that help you relax, and the ones that you walk away from feeling refreshed and rejuvenated. For some people it is as simple as prayer or mediation, or maybe just reading. For others it is running or kickboxing. I have some friends who really enjoy scrapbooking or sewing, and yet other friends of mine love writing or home improvement projects.
Of course the inevitable next question is: “How can I possibly fit in anything else, let alone something that isn’t exactly ‘necessary’?”
This fantastic book entitled, The Fringe Hours: Making Time for You, by Jessica N. Turner answers just this question! And it is a wonderful answer! The short version of the answer is – this is the stuff that is necessary! But better than that, The Fringe Hours helps you figure out not only what your needed activities are, but how to go about fitting them into your days and life.
One of the things I love best about this book is that there are guided activities that help you identify the things that might give you that recharge in your week. So often, by the time we have lost touch with our inner selves, we have gotten past the point of even being able to identify what makes us happy. The Fringe Hours helps draw that information out of the inner you. The book also give us an excellent explanation on why this is not an impossible process – no matter how busy you think you might be.
Another really important element to this fabulous little book is how it truly is a guide on how to fit the important things into our lives. The explanation in the book about the meaning behind the title is critical to understanding how to create this special, yet necessary, element into your life. In a life that is ‘busy’ we often state: “I can’t possibly fit one more thing into my day!” Well you don’t have to! The beauty of The Fringe Hours is that it dispels the myth that you have to do something everyday in order for it to have value and importance in your life. Finding the balance between your normal activities of daily living and the things that are so important to feeding your soul, helps you become what you always wanted to be, but it also helps you be happier with your loved ones. This in turn creates a healthier, happier home and family life. Many people forget that depending on what your fringe hour activities are, sometimes once a week – or even once a month – can even suffice. The most important aspect of including your favorite rejuvenating activities is the simple fact that you know that they are going to happen. By that I mean that even the act of looking forward to your favorite things can help you find satisfaction in the day-to-day tasks as you are doing them. I don’t mind cleaning up the kitchen or washing the dishes nearly so much if I know that I am going to have an hour and a half to go out the next night to share dessert and conversation with a friend. And what’s better to a sweet little child of yours when you have a relaxed evening to be tolerant of their need for extra cuddles that night? When we make time to feed ourselves, we have so much more to give to those we love!
So here is my challenge to you: Go and find this book, read it, and find your fringe hours! Even if you just put it on hold at the library so you can get to it soon, you will be well on your way to a more balanced life, greater inner peace, and a healthier family dynamic. No, it is not a cure-all but I’m willing to bet that so many of you can benefit from this book like I have. I would love to hear your thoughts – please share with me if you have read it, or what you think of the concept in general.
Peace and health,