Earlier this weekend I found myself scrubbing plates by hand for over an hour due to a broken dishwasher. At first (like any normal, modern person) I resented having to waste so much time on a task that could be handled automatically, but after a while my annoyance faded and I felt surprisingly peaceful.
I guess it was the first time in a while that I’ve let myself think slowly.
With a simple, repetitive task to occupy my hands, my thoughts were free to develop, or not develop, as they wanted. For once, there was no stream of internet chatter to rush in and cut them off, no apps or notifications to yank my attention away.
People complain a lot these days about how busy they are, but I wonder how often we choose to fill our own heads with unnecessary noise.
I can feel how it affects us in my daily conversations, can feel myself scrambling to cram my replies into tweet-length sentence fragments, because let’s face it, who has the time for more?
Of course I’m going to rejoice when the maintenance guy comes to fix the dishwasher (this isn’t the stone age. Mama’s got things to do), but I couldn’t help noticing that all the activities I’d normally fill that time with only contribute to my constant sense of busy and nine-second attention span.
Maybe I don’t need to immediately fill every blank moment with music, screen time, or words. Maybe I’d feel less frantic if I gave my thoughts a little more breathing room, room for patience or peace or God to sneak in through the cracks of an otherwise busy day.