from “The Idler” by Nikaela Marie Peters:
"Far from laziness, proper idleness is the soul’s home base. Before we plan or love or decide or act or storytell, we are idle. Before we learn, we watch. Before we do, we dream. Before we play, we imagine. The idle mind is awake and unconstrained, free to slip untethered from idea to idea or meander from potential theory to potential truth. Thomas Aquinas argued that ‘it is necessary for the perfection of human society that there should be men who devote their lives to contemplation.’ …
I’m convinced that time spent idle makes for a healthier state of mind. We want less and are more at peace when we get it. We sleep better and work harder. Simpler things bring us joy. When we daily observe our immediate surroundings, we are more grounded in our context, more attuned to the rhythms of whatever season or place we are in. Plus, the changing shapes of clouds need our attention.”
from “Neighbors: A Blessed Burden” by Nikaela Marie Peters
"Inside our singular personalities live two opposing characters: the extrovert and the hermit. Negotiating the tension between the two is a burden, but it’s a burden that makes us human. The Internet has recently allowed us the option of resolving this tension. Online, the recluse can commune, and the extrovert can hide. The Internet seduces us, leading us to believe that we author our identities. We decide to share and determine how others will see us. We’re effectively freed from the confines of space and time. …
That’s what makes neighbors neighbors: they see each other. We don’t choose them. We can’t control how they see us. We’re blessed with the real, physical challenge of living with and beside other human beings. There’s no such thing as a digital neighbor. Online, we can make friends, but we don’t have neighbors. Neighbors are necessarily physical. And this is why they’re important. They soften our edges. They keep us human. They’re given to us instead of chosen by us; they teach us grace.”
from “A Whole Week” by Rebecca Parker Payne
"The rhythm of the week is a constant approach and recession. It pounds against our heads as we’re tugged from our beds each morning. There is this duality, this dichotomy of worlds. We see the weekdays, the hard and the frustrating, and then we see the weekend, the reprieve, the transient oasis.
We’re building lives with these days, and we can’t sustain a duality where the weekdays are bad and the weekend is the only good. For our sake, there has to be more. We lament our time, and over the years, our attitudes turn from resilience to regret, duty to obligation. In the end, our divided lives decline toward bitterness.
The truth is, wherever you are and whatever you do, work is work. It’s hard and rewarding but it does not end. So we must aim to cultivate wholeness to our days. We need to inhabit the weekdays with the same vigor and presence with which we embody the weekends—because we don’t have to stay here where we regret our weekdays. There is joy to be had on Wednesdays just as much as Saturdays, but it requires a conscious choice.”