Friday, 22 November 2013

The First Slot of the Day

 There is this problem I have never been able to solve.

Every day should begin with prayer, and the right place for it is the first slot of the day – though in this winter season it is too dark to read in the first slot of the day, but if prayer and Bible reading are too long postponed, the reality is they may get pushed out of the day altogether.  So, as near the first slot as light permits.

Everyone should take exercise, and my work is very sedentary.  The best hour for my exercises is the first slot of the day – it makes sense, because I can exercise in my leggings and vest (undershirt not waistcoat), then wash and dress afterwards.  If I wash and dress first, the day tends to take off and I don’t get my exercise done.  It’s important to exercise before breakfast, too.

On the days when the Badger is home (he works away in Oxford half the week), I like to have breakfast with him, because once the day takes off we hardly see each other.  He gets up early, and has his breakfast in that first slot of the day.

On an average day (like today) I need to space out my writing stints, to allow gaps for thoughts to develop and wise reflection to work like yeast through the pieces in hand.  Today I have three writing tasks on the desk – a magazine article, then two Bible studies of a series.  This evening, the Badger and I are travelling to London for the launch of a book he published, for which I acted as outside editor.  We must catch a train mid-afternoon.  So my writing tasks need to be in the bag by mid afternoon.  Any time from 8am onwards, the day is peppered with interruptions.  Today a tradesman is coming to lay a concrete base in the garden (more on that another day), the Abel & Cole veggie box will be delivered, and I must speak with my beautiful mama on the phone about the jaunt we have planned for her tomorrow morning (she is very excited about this).  So it’s really important I get one of the three writing projects completed in the first slot of the day, to leave enough time realistically to complete the other two.

Do you see the problem?

24 comments:

darkpurplemoon said...

I have the same problem, I like to meditate and pray, exercise, and use the early mornings to get lots of work done, as my productivity wanes throughout the day.

So I get up at 5.30am, wake up and do abolutions, do 30mins of yoga, meditate/pray for 30mins and then start work (I wrote out what I had to do at the end of the working day the day before).

By about 12 I have done a full day's work..... then I can get on and walk the dog, swim and read for me.

It is easier as my husband is really not an evening person at all. But it is difficult, I get up so early to do all the monring things I thin are important.

It took a lot of experiemtning to get to that point though!

Bella said...

Yes indeed, I see the problem, because I have pretty much the same one!
H

Pen Wilcock said...

Hi friends - I see I am not alone!

Jen, I love your blog!

xx

Ganeidaz Knot said...

I get up early but have to be quiet so as not to disturb the other sleepers. I like to pray & read in my bedroom but that disturbs 2 out of 3 still sleeping...I can't walk before I have taken the 1st worker to his boat then need to juggle the man & get the girl to work. If I'm lucky [& I'm not always] I can grab a prayer hour then. Prone to interruptions. I need to be a hermit with my own islands & no visitors, just cats.

Pen Wilcock said...

Yes, I think the hermit and the family person must often look wistfully over the fence that divides them! x

BLD in MT said...

Most definitely not alone. That first slot is a most productive time. But, oh how to choose what to do with it!

San said...

I am doing well with the exercise thing, I cycle 13k every day on the exercise bike, ideally first thing but if not then around seven when Dave is settling Pip.

The prayer time is the one area where I am failing but I do try to ponder when pounding out a beat on the bike, does that count?

So pleased to see you are blogging again I have missed your musings

San x

Pen Wilcock said...

Hi Beth, hi San! Yes - spending those precious morning hours is an even bigger decision than children choosing what sweets to spend their pocket money on! xx

Pen Wilcock said...

Claudia Kornaros - Thank you so much for your message. Please do feel free to write to me in a comment here, marking it 'not for publication' if you would like it kept private.

Deborah said...

I don't do mornings! That's why I was still proof reading a friend's book at midnight last night :-D

Lynda said...

I wake around 5am. Make myself a cup of tea and take it back to bed to do my bible and devotional readings.

I do have a short prayer time then, but my main prayer time is as I do my 40 minute walk around the river at 6.30am. That's when I talk with God :) xx

Pen Wilcock said...

Hmm, this is interesting. I think walking and praying is definitely a solution for most people.
In my discipline with the Servants With Jesus, we follow particular lectionary readings and psalms in our devotions, which can't combine with exercise. If I were simply praying, I'd change my exercise to walking and do both at once.

Katrina Green said...

Perhaps you need to adopt the Jewish idea that the day starts at evening. Just a thought :-)

Pen Wilcock said...

Good thought! x

rebecca said...

I sure DO see the problem....And, no. You are not alone. Lately, MY prayer challenge has been at least temporarily solved as I use the travel time (approximately 1 hour)to be with my parents for prayer. Out loud. And occasional Scripture memory fills in the gaps.

Since 5 of 7 days a week goes this way, I find myself praying more than usual.

Note, I said "temporarily".

And it IS good to find you posting more....

Pilgrim said...

Yes, I have the same challenge. With Thanksgiving coming this week, even more so.

Janette's Sage/Simply Your Decor said...

I can so relate. Somehow I just felt when children were gone from the house this wouldn't be a problem. Thanks for sharing your wisdom...now to make filling my first slots with the right priorities.

Anonymous said...

Just a thought, could your lectionary prayers and readings be recorded in some way, leaving a pause for repetition after each line? Then they would be portable and could be used on walks or when busy with other tasks like cooking or washing dishes. The bible does tell us to pray without ceasing and we all have busy lives with many tasks to complete...
DMW



DMW .

Pen Wilcock said...

Hi friends :0)

DMW, I noticed your comment about recordings links well with Rebecca's comment about using travel time for prayer. In the old days of cassette tapes I had the whole Bible on tape, and often used to listen while driving. It was interesting how different was the experience of listening instead of reading. x

tonia said...

Haha! I love this. I have the exact same problem and I am constantly rewriting my schedule to try and fit everything I need to do into the first 4 hours of the day...the rest of the day I tend to wander off into books and naps. *grin*

Excited about your tiny house! And I have your new book here to curl up with over the Thanksgiving holiday. Joy!

Asta Lander said...

Pen - right now I am using this slot to read and meditate on your new Lent book. (Can't leave it for Lent. It is just what I need right now.) Asta x

Pen Wilcock said...

Hi friends :0)

Which book are you on, Tonia? The Breath of Peace or The Wilderness Within You? Let me know how you get on!

I'm so glad you're enjoying the WIlderness book, Asta :0)

xx

tonia said...

The Breath of Peace. I'm fairly certain I'll love it.

Pen Wilcock said...

:0) x