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Standing Appointment- by Shelley Rivelli

Keep your appointments with yourself.

For as long as I can remember, I have had a standing appointment with myself.

When: Saturday mornings.

Time: as early as it requires to sneak out of my house unnoticed.

Place: my car.

Like most moms, I spend my time working, solving world (family) problems, meeting all needs, refereeing, cleaning, being an unpaid Uber driver, attending sporting events, classes and church. All of this while making time with my husband a priority, and coveting time with my girlfriends. Writing is a luxury. However, Saturday mornings… they belong to me. They are holy, and my car is a temple.

I like to believe that this treasured time is a prized secret as I literally roll out of bed as quietly as possible (you know the roll… very slow movements as you shimmy out of the bed), dress in the closet, and tip-toe downstairs. I bribe the dogs to stay quiet with treats, and silently walk to my car. It’s early. In the winter, it’s dark. Once in my car, I am free. I drive away like I have accomplished an impossible task. I am filled with the joy that comes with the knowledge that this time is mine. Mine. I giggle. As I drive to get my coffee, I decide how to spend these stolen moments. I pass the field (that looks as if it has just woken as well), the farm, and the baby sheep. I pass the runners and feel kindred with them, as I tell myself they have stolen this time as well. They too know the importance of keeping this appointment with themselves. They have learned that this precious time is crucial to the health of their soul, their relationships, their peace.

In my car, I sing praise to the Lord. I seek wisdom for challenges that I am facing. I pray for all things. I laugh. I cry. I have therapy with Jesus. I cleave to grace. My dreams are awakened. I savor my coffee and bagel. Sometimes, I call my mom. These conversations will always be sweet memories as my mother is full of wisdom, humor and grace. She is brought into this sacred time.

How do I know the importance of this appointment? I mourn the loss of it. Very rarely, I am unsuccessful in the sneaking out part, and my husband asks to join me. Through gritted teeth and eye rolls, I allow this infraction. I am not happy. As we drive, I am sad, and that sadness changes to anger.

“There is no talking on these rides. Stop humming. I don’t care about that game or what you read in the news. If you want to come along, you must abide by the rules… This is holy time… my time.”

This very thing occurred this morning, and I was so rattled by the thievery of his actions, I dropped him off and took a quick drive alone. I couldn’t recapture the early morning freedom and returned home. I’m grumpy. I will speak up next time. It’s not his fault, he wants to steal time away; however, he will need to make his own appointment to do so.

Dear reader, do you have a standing appointment with yourself? One you go to alone. Maybe the furthest you can get away is your bathtub, or maybe it is time stolen, in your home, very early, or after the littles go to bed. Be intentional about what happens at this appointment… what would you like the outcome to be? It will be different for everyone. That’s the beauty. It is your time. It belongs to you. Do whatever you want. Get alone. Get real. Get quiet. Get loud. Get to know yourself again...because you are fabulous.

Friends, I want to encourage you make, and then keep your appointment with yourself. It will indeed change your life!



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