What are the big things in your strainer?

I know I am not the only one who is experiencing a hectic Fall with back-to-school commitments, reconnection and excitement. I love the line in You’ve Got Mail where Joe Fox offers to send Kathleen a bouquet of sharpened pencils to celebrate this season. Such a perfect Fall sentiment.

But what happens to us in the frenzy?

My guess is you’ve also felt rushed, lost your keys, endured headaches or saying the wrong words because you’re handling so many details that your brain just can’t handle anymore.  We flop into bed after another day’s miracle of getting everyone where they needed to be and getting everything completed…enough.

How do we make time for ourselves?

It can feel hard and overwhelming, sometimes. We must decide what are the big things in our lives that are really important and let everything else wash away. I have a group of women that gets together on a monthly basis and we celebrate birthdays and each other through life. This week, I gave the two birthday girls darling strainers for the kitchen with this precise message.  The strainer was cute and super useful, but I asked them to think about their lives when they used it.

What are the big things in your life that need to remain in the strainer and what needs to be washed off? Do the big things need some cleansing and work?  What little things may be tarnishing the big things so they can’t be seen fully?  What needs to be washed away to let the big things shine?

And to be honest…I almost didn’t go to dinner this night.

Like all of us, Fall is upon me. Kids classes, my own classes I’m teaching at the center, talks, clients, home responsibilities…it was all weighing on me. 

But I realized these women were big things in my strainer. 

I promised myself I would go for one hour.

In that one hour, my soul was filled beyond belief.  Overflowing with gratitude for these friendships and for my carving out that soul-filling time for myself. One hour.

Where can you find one hour in your day to fill your soul?

Less phone time, less mindless TV, where can you find it?

Decide what needs to stay in your strainer and make it pristine.

Wash it off, clean it, appreciate it, spend one hour with it.

It will nourish you in a way you’ll never expect.

And those little things that are small enough to strain away and out of your life will no longer tarnish what nourishes you.

So instead of a bouquet of pencils, I’m giving you a strainer to celebrate Fall.

Use your strainer. Hold onto the big things. Find your hour and nourish your soul.

Erin Garay