Well, it’s starting to happen again: I’m running out of space. That dreaded error signal on my computer keeps popping up, disk space full, to make more space delete some files. Except now, it’s taking over applications. It’s been happening for a while too! I might be in the middle of sending an email when a message pops up, this application must close because there’s no longer any space for it to run. Imagine that. No more space to run.

Meanwhile, I had lunch with a good friend last week who recently expanded her family. As we were catching up, commiserating as parents do over how busy our lives can be, she remarked that it seems like my life is so balanced, how do I find the space to do things? Immediately I felt a pang of shame, and I replied, unfortunately, my life is more like feast or famine. Most days I go hard and struggle to find space. My only saving grace (besides grace itself) are the routines I’ve created to force myself to pause long enough to make space.

My goal upon returning to real life after lake life is to keep my summer heart—my flexible, silly, ready-to-play, ever-so-slightly irresponsible heart. What I’ve been delighted to find is that it’s not that our real life is all wrong, by any means—it’s not that I’m doing work I hate or that I’m ill-fit for the life we’ve made. It’s that for all sorts of reasons, I default to hustle mode all too often. Hustle is the opposite of heart.

Shauna Niequist

We went on vacation last week as a family to the beach and vacations are always the hardest for me. I know, it sounds crazy but it’s true. I generally don’t know what to do with myself. My wife jokes that we usually need at least a week, a few days for me to actually unwind my mind and a few days for me to simply enjoy being present. Before this trip I tried to set some expectations for myself and was reminded of this quote, expectations are resentments waiting to happen. So I got discouraged. But then, I decided to press forward anyway and came up with these three, keep it simple, travel light, and be grateful. At the beach, I attempted to keep these goals top of mind, and to some degree they helped.

Shauna writes, away is our place to escape in order to recalibrate. Part of the magic of getting away is that it isn’t home- it’s away, and away allows us to see the rhythms and dimensions of our lives more clearly. It takes a lot to get away for our family. So many people. So much to do. Yet, it’s important. I like what Shauna says, it allows us to reconnect with simplicity in a way that helps us recalibrate. We get to actually rest from some of our rhythms.  Our lives are too busy, and this is our way of pressing the rest button in a way. 

Later upon returning home, the message hit most clearly to me as I had journal time with my older two daughters. Olivia, who lives so in the moment that it seems she doesn’t even plan for the future asked me, when is it a good time to goof off? Now that’s a chip off the old block if there ever was one. We both decided that it’s probably not the best time when you’re learning how to regroup, however it is important to pick and choose your spots.

That’s when it hit me. Picking and choosing your spots! That’s what this error message keeps asking me to do as well. Underneath it says, save space by optimizing storage. When I double click the button that says, “manage” I can actually start to see what’s taking up space and make some decisions about how I want to proceed. Decisions based on what matters most. Now, I can do that. That feels more manageable, yet it requires some time and intentionality. It might even require a routine or some new habits. It’ll definitely require an assessment of what stays and goes, and that’s probably the scariest part.


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