I started writing weekly Good Things posts last month so that I would notice and appreciate what shows up when clutter goes out. Today’s post is not about material things, however, but about time. Clutter isn’t just physical—when people clutter up their schedules with lots of stuff to do, they often forget that time is an abundant resource.

I have to confess that happened to me a few years ago. When my daughter was playing soccer in college, I felt like I had to save so much time for traveling to soccer matches, I often ended up not taking any vacation time for the entire first half of the year. That left me with the same feeling as physical clutter—bogged down, tired, and overwhelmed.

My daughter graduated two years ago, but I didn’t fully get that time-hoarding mindset out of my head until last week, when my husband said, “The weather on Friday should be warm and sunny—let’s plan to take the afternoon off from work and go down to the river and row.”

Although we’re going into our fourth season as members of our local rowing club, and we enjoy it a lot, we had never before spontaneously taken time off from work just to spend the afternoon rowing. Honestly, it took me a moment just to get the idea through my head that, yes, just doing something fun because I feel like doing it is a perfectly reasonable use of vacation time!

Here’s a photo at the dock early Friday afternoon, just before we got into the boat:

Black double scull in the river, next to a white dock. 

Performance sculls are long and very narrow, so I couldn’t take a picture from close enough to show much detail. Even from where I was standing, the photo doesn’t show the ends of the boat, and it’s hard to see a black carbon-fiber scull on dark river water anyway. But, we had fun. This has been a very relaxing weekend—it feels like it’s been going on for a very long time and still isn’t over yet, yay!

* Good Things is a weekly series featuring the many unexpected joyful things that show up when clutter and stagnation have been cleared away. It’s meant as a reminder that life is always full of happy little surprises, when there’s enough space for them!

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