Holy Moly, I’m turning 42! (I’m aware that I may slightly abuse exclamation points, but I think this is a completely appropriate occasion! I mean, forty freakin’ two!!!!!) Seriously, how did that happen?)
I actually had to do the math to figure out how old I am, because at some point in the recent past, I seem to have stopped caring or keeping count. (No, it’s not because I’m just so old now that I can’t remember. I just have better things on my mind.)
Not that I don’t care about my birthday~ I LOVE to celebrate! It’s just the number of years doesn’t so much matter to me anymore.
What does matter a LOT to me these days is time, or what feels like a lack of it.
The last 6 months have included a whole lotta working my booty off (although my actual booty has not decreased in size at all~ it’s possible it’s even grown. Only my figurative booty has been worked off, but you know what I mean.)
In some cases, it’s been a conscious choice, and in others, it’s because the alternatives were terribly lame. But, the awesome thing that’s happened is that I’ve been able to ditch some of the scarcity mentality which has been long held and deep seeded in me.
I realize how much a focus on what’s lacking decreases my quality of life, and how much power I have to whip things around. Not to perfection by any means, but a definite increase in realizing the abundance around me.
But time is the one area where I’m kind of freaking out. It’s the one thing I can’t make any more of, no matter what, and too often it feels like the demands are exceeding the supply available.
If I don’t like my house, I can work to make more money to paint it or move. (I opted for painting and am loving the improvement!) But I can’t buy more time. None of us can, and none of us really even knows how much we have.
My recent transition to breadwinner has landed me some wonderful jobs. I love them, but they take up a lot of time~ time that I used to have to explore, create, read, cook, travel and just hang out with my kids, animals, or myself. They're amazing and flexible and have been a HUMONGOUS blessing in what’s been a big life change, but boy do my days fly by now, and they’re structured by outside forces more than they have been in years.
On extreme days, when it seems as though a constant stream of people is wanting commitments from me, I get to the point where I feel a little like a chained dog ready to snap at the next person who walks by and asks me for anything, even if they’re being nice.
Sometimes, the mere fact that something has to go on the calendar makes my heart start racing, my eyeballs bug out and in my mind (at least I hope it’s only in my mind) I hug myself and start rocking back and forth and humming loudly so I can’t hear the request.
It’s ridiculous really, because I have the same internal mental reaction whether I’m being invited to a party or jury duty. These are just a few of the not so subtle signs that help me realize I’m being a nut job and need to chill out.
So, what’s a gal to do?
Well, for starters, I went back to my abundance versus lack epiphany.
I probably still have a lot more freedom and flexibility with my time than most people around the world. If you’re reading this on the internet, chances are, so do you. We don’t have to walk for hours to get drinking water out of a river or work in a sweatshop for 14 hours a day.
Thinking about that makes me realize I should quit wanking about how stressful that it is that I can no longer read with my family for 4 hours straight on a weekday morning. Waaah. Poor me. I know. I need to shut my pie hole.
Whenever a person quits wanking, they’re usually freed up to think about solutions. No, I can’t create more time, and it is going to fly by whether I like it or not, but I can at least hop in the pilots seat and make sure it’s going in the direction I want.
This calls for the kind of detailed planning, mapping and scheduling that I’ve successfully and happily avoided for years. But, at the current speed of my journey, an itinerary is probably a helpful tool if I don’t want to miss the important stops.
I haven’t come up with an exact method, but I have been making a whole lotta lists, and even though I lose them semi-often, it seems to be helping keep me on track and get stuff done.
If I know what the big stuff is that really matters, and I put it as a priority on TOP of my to-dos, then it’s less likely to get lost and forgotten in the endless errands and chores.
That important stuff may be finishing a work deadline, putting new paths in my back gardens, swimming with my kids or walking the dogs, but it’s what really matters and where my values are. Knowing and naming those things gives a little calm in itself. As long as the big stuff happens most of the time, the rest of it is optional, right?
I’ve also realized that most pilots have some guidance from a ground crew or air traffic people or something, so I did a little poking around to see what others say and do about time.
Here’s a couple things I found:
Mr Warren Buffett said, "You've gotta keep control of your time, and you can't unless you say no. You can't let people set your agenda in life."
That’s probably the biggest thing right there. While I may have responsibilities (like earning a living) that take up big chunks of time, when it comes to how I prioritize my life, it doesn’t matter if someone else thinks it’s important.
Sometimes you just gotta say “No.” It can be “no thanks” but it shouldn’t be a cause for guilt.
I can’t be everywhere, help everyone and do everything. Sometimes, I actually could do something, but I really just wanna make a collage or take some pictures of flowers or float in the pool. And that’s OK. I can’t let people set my agenda for me.
The last thing I want to share before I take up any more of your precious time is a quote from my favorite time traveling Doctor. This one really gets to the heart of the time management issue for me.
“People assume that time is a strict progression of cause to effect...but actually, from a non-linear, non- subjective viewpoint - it’s more a big ball of wibbly wobbly, timey wimey stuff.”
See, what was I stressing about?
Thanks for spending so much of your time with me this weekend. I’d love to hear how you deal with the crunch of demands on your time and still get in the stuff that matters. If you manage to do it without freaking out, then I’d really like to know how.
Who is Zesty Mom?
I'm an Artist, Writer, Funschooling Facilitator, Empowered Living Advocate, Wanna-be Organic Gardening Foodie, Travel Loving Life Explorer, Former Goat Herding Chicken Lady, and Full Time Mamacita Extraordinaire to a Couple of Cage Free Kids.
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