Make My Day… December 30, 2011

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Jonathan in Miami

It all really boils down to three hours and where you decide to plant that 180 minutes of fertile possibility. Because even though there are twenty-four hours in the day, we all know that those passing moments are not within our grasp and care. Failure to realize this causes us to procrastinate and end up frustrated and fretful.

No, it ends up being about three hours. And I find that people make one of two choices on that matter–they either choose their three hours of sanctified time late at night or early in the morning. If they choose it late at night, kind of following the pattern of a college student, they usually wake up pretty groggy and a bit wasted until mid-day. If they choose it early in the morning, they may lose some of the glittering promise of the nighttime glitz, but wake up fresher and more ready to go.

Here’s how it breaks down for me (and I must caution you that my lifestyle is not yours, nor are my particular preferences perhaps to your liking. The goal of this particular essay is to just get both of us to agree that twenty-four hours do pass by, leaving us only a small window for our own personal use.)

I usually get up about six o’clock in the morning–so six o’clock to nine o’clock becomes what I call MINE. There aren’t a whole lot of people vying for appointments or interfering. I can get up, enjoy myself, write my jonathots, send out some personal emails to friends and family, plan my day, have breakfast and pretty well do what I want to without intrusion. I always start off my day by being silly. I do it on purpose. I sing silly songs, say silly things and even think about silly matters. I believe the brain needs a chance to flush out all of yesterday’s fussiness before it starts trying to take on today’s sufficiency. You may find that childish. (Of course, my morning habits are completely irrelevant to you unless you happen to find yourself hanging around my presence at about six o’clock in the morning.)

I have breakfast–not because I believe it’s the most important meal of the day–but because it’s a chance to eat, which I have never found to be unpleasant. I know that about nine o’clock, humanity will start teeming around me and I will need to be ready to interact with folks. So I refer to the time between nine and twelve o’ clock as OURS. Emerging from MINE, I proceed into OURS. My goal is to have enjoyed myself so much during my previous three hours that I’m ready, decent and welcoming enough to deal with my fellow-human-beings.

From twelve to three o’clock every day I enter a phase I call RESTFUL. I separate myself off, have a meal, talk to a few friends on the phone and even slide in a small nap. I have had six hours of private time and interaction with people and I would like to give my heart, soul, mind and strength a chance to absorb the blessings or survive the ordeal.

From three to six o’clock I RE-ENGAGE. I like that time of day–a second burst of energy, a chance to do a trailing project that didn’t end up making my early-morning list, and just a delicious opportunity to finish the day on a high note instead of a discordant one.

From six to nine o’clock at night, I RELAX. I try not to take on anything that’s too important unless I happen to be doing a gig. And even if I am in front of an audience, I find that the relaxed profile does me–and them–well.

And then about nine o’clock, as I’m moving towards bedtime (always before twelve), I enter a precious position of power I call THANKFUL. Too many people spend the last moments of their day upset over what has happened or worried about what will happen. I become thankful. It’s interesting–thankful always makes me sleepy, because as my heart opens up in generosity to the goodness of God and life, my tension disappears and rest comes easy. And that’s usually what I do–from about twelve to about six in the morning, I rest. Since I’m getting older, that solitude is occasionally interrupted by the need to trot off to a bathroom. Or an inspiration may strike my fancy about a jonathots I could write. But usually it’s a very restful time because I have ended my day with thankfulness.

And that’s how I make my day. I recommend portions of it to you, as you’re able to apply it, because trying to grab your private time late at night can make you nasty in the morning, and trying to squeeze some self-worth into hours after work can be hectic and unfulfilling. For me, six o’clock to nine o’clock in the morning is MINE. Nine o’clock to twelve noon is OURS. Twelve noon to three o’clock P. M. is RESTFUL.  Three  to six o’clock  P. M. is ENGAGED. Six to nine at night is RELAXED. And nine until I go to sleep is THANKFUL.

Time passes quickly, my dear friends, and when you really only have three hours a day to grab for your own, it’s a good idea to invest wisely.

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Jonathan wrote the gospel/blues anthem, Spent This Time, in 1985, in Guaymas, Mexico. Take a listen:

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To see books written by Jonathan, click the link below! You can peruse and order if you like!

http://www.janethan.com/tour_store.htm

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