People recharge differently. For some, the excitement of being with a group of people  makes them happy and re-energizes them. For others, having quiet time alone is revitalizing. Myself, I fall into the latter category. Every evening I take a bath and read for my wind-down before bed. I love that little bit of personal time at the end of a long day. But once in a while, a larger chunk of time is needed--a few hours to do something different, maybe even away from home. However, for so many reasons, it is almost impossible for me to find a larger amount of time. Last night, though, I had the whole evening to myself after I closed the shoppe.

To decide how to spend my personal time, I looked over three lists that I have made. One list is all of the things that recharge me. Next to the same list are all the things that drain me. I keep them together because sometimes I can feel like I "should" do something, but the "drain list" reminds me that the item in question does not revitalize me. For instance, sometimes I find that I really do need some girl time during my personal time (which is why I may begin calling it hygge time instead). No crowds. Just one on one, quiet conversation with a friend. BUT talking on the phone is absolutely out during my personal recharge time. Little drains me as quickly as talking on the phone. No offense toward dear friends. It certainly isn't their fault. I don't know why the phone drains me so, but it does. So all phone calls are kept to a minimum, and they are kept short. On the other hand, chatting face to face over a cup of coffee somewhere, now that's a totally different story. That can recharge me, given it's a friend where there is an equal amount of exchange back and forth, and even more so if we can discuss what the Lord is currently doing in our lives. And the fewer "niceties" we have to muck through before we can dig deep into life, all the better and life-giving to me! I'm not a girl who enjoys a bunch of small talk.

The third list consulted after the buket fillers and the bucket drainers was my winter activity list. (A similar list was posted on the blog a little while back.) So hard, so hard. I wanted to squeeze everything into the evening; but with a little discipline only a couple of items were selected: make marshmallows and write a real letter.

Marshmallows have been on the "someday" list for a long time, as in years. Because I knew well in advance that I was going to have the evening free, I had already selected the recipe from the Against All Grain Celebrations cookbook, and I had all three ingredients on hand: gelatin, honey, and arrow root powder. The process ended up being a little more hands-on than I expected. My thinking had me writing my letter while waiting for the honey and water to reach temperature. That didn't last long once I turned around and saw the honey about to boil over onto the burner! Twenty long minutes were spent hovering, stirring, rescuing, adjusting so the honey did not make a mess. After that, though, it was a fairly simple process. The results were definitely worth the effort! Plus, an item was checked off my winter activity list, the activity that has been calling to me for years!

The letter also was completed. It is stamped and ready to be mailed later today, after I close the shoppe.

And having had some time to spend on fun--just pure fun, nothing else--was amazing! I feel like a new person.

I have no idea when the next block of personal time will present itself, but for now I am a very happy girl!