MODERN DAY MARTHA

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  • Reflections on Time

    I’m currently reading Amish Peace: Simple Wisdom for a Complicated World by Suzanne Woods Fisher, a fantastic book I HIGHLY recommend.  It’s a great glimpse into the Amish way of life, and Fisher (who is not Amish) does an insightful  job of asking thought provoking questions that help the reader consider what can be learned from Amish beliefs.

    I read this yesterday and it was like a kick in the head, so I thought I’d share.

    “One Amish man joked that if her were meant to plow at night, God would have put a headlight on a horse. The Amish respect natural limitations: sunlight and seasons, hunger and fatigue. Do you accept those limitations, or do you try to override them? Do you ever feel as if you are expecting too much from yourself?

    How many times in a day do you feel rushed? How many times in a day do you feel frustrated? Are those moments always related to each other? Building a margin of error into your schedule – for unexpected things like traffic jams – can be a simple and effective way to add peace to your life.”  p 86 of Amish Peace

    Share your thoughts in the comments if you like, and if you need something to read, check out this book. The chapters are really short, so it’s easy to pick up and put down, and I’m really learning a lot from it — about the Amish, and about myself.

    2 Responses to “Reflections on Time”

    1. Jessica says:

      Very interesting…
      I fall into the trap of staying up really late because I feel like that is the only time I have when I am not being “needed”. It affects my performance in the day because I’m too tired to effectively deal with things well. It’s a vicious cycle. I am not accepting my limitations and the season in my life as well as I need to.
      Gotsta work on that…

    2. Carolyn says:

      I like the idea of reserving a little extra time, or a margin of error, into your schedule. I often think I can get more done in a certain amount of time than I can actually do. Wonder if there might be any ideas in your book which overlap with those in the article linked here?

      Sorry for getting scientific about staying up late at night, but they’re also finding out that there are good reasons for us to sleep at night, in the dark (use a red nightlight in the bathroom if you need one) and to get some sunlight in the morning. Reduces cancer risk, etc.

      The hard part for me is turning off the computer (TV for other people) two hours before bed to give my brain time to adjust to a time of low sensory input.

      On the more practical side of Amish living, there’s Plain and Happy Living, recipes, remedies and remembrances from an Amish woman widowed at age 33 with 10 children and no money. She kept notes in a shoe box and an anthropologist helped compile them into a book when the author was in her seventies.

      Next time you’re feeling sorry for yourself, think about how you would make it with 10 kids, no spouse, no money and no electrical equipment. Recommended in the reviews: the food list for a 200-guest wedding dinner.