I don’t know how often I’ve explained the reason I couldn’t get something done as a result of my not having enough time.
Though I suppose it’s true in the small picture, it’s not remotely true in the big picture.
As a rule, people are not very good at managing their time. We often say yes to far too many things, or (even worse), “I’ll try.” In my experience, “I’ll try” usually means, “I don’t want to say no, but I am never going to get around to this.”
I ran out of time last week to write my daily posts a couple of times. Did I really run out of time? Of course not. But I was out and about and enjoying myself. The thought of heading back to the hotel to turn on my computer and write didn’t appeal to me.
Of course, if I had to write for work and not just for a self-imposed project, it would have been a different matter. A paycheck can be a strong motivator. But why should I do less for myself than I would for someone else – whether or not I’m being paid to do it?
We make decisions about what we’re going to do with our time. We make those decisions every moment of every day. I’m sitting here right now at the dining room table, writing this post instead of watching Iron Fist with my husband. Some might say that’s a good decision I made. Others might disagree. (Of course, it helps that I watched The Walking Dead last night and he didn’t, so he has something else to watch.)
Time passes and we forget what we were planning to do. It passes and we get the job done. It passes and memories fade.
I’m closing in on 50, and I wonder how that can be – didn’t I just turn 21 yesterday? Or 30? Or 40? How are my children approaching their teen years? Weren’t they just babies?
Every single thing we do is a decision we make, and all of those decisions eat up moments of our time.
But we also have a lot of time that’s not accounted for – those quiet moments when we watch our children playing or sleeping; the agonized minutes and hours spent staring at an empty computer screen, taunting our writer’s block; when we’re behind the wheel of a car; when we’re hiding in the bathroom because it’s the only place where we can get a quiet moment to ourselves; when we’re playing a video game or watching TV or reading a book or running or walking the dog or whatever else we’re doing that’s lost at the end of the day when we’re accounting for how we spent our time.
Those moments are all accounted for, really. We make choices all day, every day, as to how we’ll spend our time.
As a society, we seem to have put a premium on busy-ness. What is really special is to have time that’s not busy, to breathe and think.
We all have that time, if only we make a priority of it. Some of us have more of it than others do, to be sure. But let’s stop bragging about how “busy” we are, and take a moment to breathe in our life.
Image by StockUnlimited.