Where does the time go?
So often when I look back at days, weeks, months…or years, it feels like I just put my head down and plowed through my life. Accomplishing tasks. Meeting needs. Moving kids from point A to point B. Cooking. Cleaning.
I recently took a yoga teacher training where I learned about svadhyaya. In Sanskrit, it means studying yourself. I love to use journaling to do that. As I look back, I can break my life into several “times”.
Way back, when I was married to my ex, I lived rather thoughtlessly. There were just the two of us, both working, no kids. We watched foreign films with subtitles and used a French press to make our coffee. We explored book stores and listened to jazz music. He played his guitar and I worked in my flower gardens.
Now I have a family…husband. three kids. My time for the past twelve years has revolved around teaching, books, kids, survival.
But I feel like this time is changing, wrapping up, and I am preparing for the next chapter. I’ve been teaching for more than 20 years. Now my kids are older. I’m not moving toward retirement…exactly, but another chapter in my life. One where I’m finding more joy and purpose in writing and creating.
Transitions take energy, focus, and dedication. That’s what I’m doing. But, on a daily level, I too often act like I have all the time in the world to accomplish my dreams. At the end of the day, I realize that there wasn’t enough time to even accomplish the mundane, everyday tasks that were on my plate.
So. Here’s what is helping me…
Being a teacher, I love that my time is organized into blocks every day and those blocks have a solid beginning and end. Accomplishment is inevitable because all the goals for my class are given a little time EVERY day.
That works in my personal life too. Call it the First Grade system of time management. Everything in a block of time and a block of time for everything.
I’ve been planning the week. Food and shopping. Don’t you find that the energy that shopping and cooking meals consume a huge amount of energy in the week?
What are my work/life goals?–lay it out. Put it down on paper, sticky notes, or a journal. Make time for work, sleep, writing, reading, and play.
I schedule walking, yoga, meditation…my “self-care”. It’s not that there is no time for these things, rather, if I don’t value myself enough to honor and protect myself…well…no. one. else. will.
Where does the time go?
There are large chunks of time in my day that are spoken for, parts that are committed. Then there are, of course, parts that I get to choose.
When I mindfully and thoughtfully choose, I make a commitment to myself and can create the life I want in the long run. But if I don’t plan for this ahead of time, it disappears…and MY time is a terrible thing to waste.