Autumn brings candles. Mmmm, candles*. Those who love candles know that you need to trim the wicks unless you want a plume of black smoke to burst straight into the air once the flame catches.
As I lit a candle the other day, I noticed that the wick needed trimming, but I ignored it. I even told myself in my head that the wick needed trimming, but I didn’t get the scissors and do it. That got me thinking: what other areas in my life need trimming? What am I ignoring because I don’t have time, I’m too lazy or I’m too attached to it to trim?
I’ve done a pretty good job at wick trimming in this past year in my outward life. I have stepped back from some really draining responsibilities that left me empty and my family disgruntled. I also believed God has blessed my stepping back and has given me a season of rest in order to re-prioritize things in my life and contemplate where our family is headed. I’ve trimmed the wicks of outside responsibilities so I can focus more on inward things. The whole family has done this to some extent. We are slowing adding some things back in, but only those things we love and feel called to do.
However, my inward life continues to need some wick trimming. There are a few little things I can think of.
Right now one wick that needs attention is my bedtime routine wick. I get a second wind around 9 pm and, though my day is done and I should head up to bed around this time, I find other things to do. Growing up, I was a night owl and I have regressed back into those tendencies. When I do finally put myself to bed it’s usually gone past 11. I set my phone alarm. Well, confession, I set four alarms on my phone with drill sergeant messages (which I don’t read). I ignore all of them. I fall back asleep and get up groggy and grumpy – not a pretty sight. I need to trim staying up late regularly so that I can get up earlier in the morning. I want to be a morning person, I really do. For a season of my life I was and I loved it. Especially this time of year when the air is so beautifully crisp and the sunrises take your breath away. I want to spend time contemplating, praying, listening to God and watching creation come alive – with a steaming cup of coffee in my hands.
Another wick I need to trim is my procrastination streak. I want to live intentionally so that means streamlining things like housework and meal preparation. I have taken steps towards this, but I’m always one step forward and two steps back. I have committed to once a month cooking through a subscription service through Once a Month Meals and it is going well and I’ve recently completed another marathon cooking day. We’ve eaten and liked every meal but one which mixes BBQ sauce with pasta and cheese. Why not just use tomato or alfredo sauce? I didn’t get that one. The melding of flavors didn’t, well, meld.
But housework…ah…housework. Let’s just say I love it when things are clean and tidy, I just don’t do well at actually getting it done. I procrastinate. Like now. I should be cleaning my bathrooms but it’s more fun to blog about not doing it. I do have a chore scheduled for each day (for today it’s CLEAN BATHROOMS) but I find that my rebellious streak not only extends towards others, but towards myself. I get some sort of guilty pleasure out of ignoring my own lists. A familiar theme, as in, ignoring my morning alarms. Is rebellion the root of procrastination? Possibly, but that’s another post. Can you wait while I write that down on my blog idea list? Oddly enough I don’t rebel against my blog idea list.
A friendship needs trimming. I’ve begun that process but it is hard because, well, it just is. I know there are necessary endings but I don’t want to get this wrong. My desire is not to burn bridges so I have to be careful how I trim and not allow the smoke in my eyes (hurt feelings and rejection) to blind me so that I trim so much I can’t find that wick when or if the relationship can be redeemed.
Trimming wicks. Inwardly and outwardly. A candle is a beautiful and relaxing thing, but it can blow ugly black smoke into our faces if we don’t trim the wicks.
What parts of your life are blowing ugly black smoke into your face or into others’ faces because you’ve got some trimming to do? Some decisions you must make? Some activities you must cut?
As an aside: Yankee Candle makes a scent called Turkey Stuffing. Forgive me, but wouldn’t that get a bit old? Who wants to smell turkey stuffing day in and day out for weeks? I love the smell of a turkey roasting over the holidays, but geez, isn’t this going a bit too far? Unless, it’s for vegetarians…. but then, wouldn’t it make you want leave your Tofurkey on the table and go to the nearest buffet?