Rhythm has become an important word in my life. When I was younger I didn’t really care about the rhythms in my life. I pretty much did whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted. If I wanted to stay up until 4:00 in the morning playing video games then I would. If I wanted to take off to Vegas for the weekend with a group of friends then I would. As I’ve gotten older, though, I’ve subjugated those fleeting desires to defined rhythms.
Defining rhythms really started for me when I got married. Before I was married I would often stay up until 1:00 or 2:00 in the morning working on a project, watching Battlestar Galactica or playing Oblivion. However, when we got married, Alycia told me that she wanted to go to bed at the same time. She didn’t want to go to bed and have me come in a few hours later.
When I left my job as a youth pastor I needed to define even more rhythms for my life. Working a 9-5 job meant that I needed to be more structured with my time. If I wanted to spend time with Jesus, if I wanted to go running, then I would need to create new rhythms. That meant waking up earlier so that I could accomplish those tasks before heading to work.
Every rhythm I had spent years meticulously implementing, though, was lost when Clara was born. Rhythm turned into survival during those first few months as Alycia and I figured out what it meant to be parents for the first time. Even as everything settled down when Clara got older, life got thrown into an even greater tumult when Alycia got her first job as a teacher.
So here we are three months later, facing the prospects of another new year, and I’m still trying to find new rhythms in my life. It’s 2017 but I still want to spend time with God, sleep, be a good husband, go running, hang out with Clara, watch the Warriors, read comics and play video games. If I didn’t have to work, then I would have plenty of time to accomplish all of those tasks. However, since 2017 didn’t bring with it a stack of cash, I still have to go to work, which means finding rhythms to help me spend time with God, with my family and doing the things that make me happy.
This week hasn’t really been a good opportunity to define new rhythms. Alycia is still on break and I’m not working most of the week. However, I know that Monday is coming: Alycia will go back to work and real life will set back in. I’m still not entirely sure how I’ll set rhythms that will help me be who I want to be and do what I want to do.
Sometimes I think it would be easier if I could just go back to the days when I could do whatever I wanted to do whenever I wanted to do it. Those days may have been easier, but they definitely weren’t better. I’d much rather have to schedule out my entire life if that means spending time with my wife and my daughter. Finding rhythms can be difficult, but it’s worth it to be present and available for our families and our God.
What new rhythms are you implementing this year?