One of my weird pet peeves is when people complain about not ‘having’ enough time for various activities and obligations.
I don’t HAVE enough time to keep my house clean.
I don’t HAVE enough time to exercise or eat right.
I don’t HAVE enough time to meal plan and stock my freezer.
I don’t HAVE enough time to use coupons.
I don’t HAVE enough time to read, or craft, or sew, or scrapbook.
I don’t HAVE enough time to hang out with friends and family.
I don’t HAVE enough time to _______________ (you fill in the blank).
I realize that because of my personality and my profession, the use of the word “have” in these situations is probably more annoying to me than to most people — in fact, some of you might be reading this and wondering why on earth I could possibly be annoyed with any of the statements above, or the use of the word “have”.
Every single person on earth has the exact same amount of time every single day. We ALL get 24 hours to do whatever we need and want to do each day.
What we make of that time is up to US.
When we feel like we don’t HAVE time for something, it’s almost always because we have not chosen to MAKE the time to do it.
Now before you start saying “but….” let me explain a little more 🙂
We are all busy. I know that.
Dave and I are very busy people, and I know many of you are much busier than we are. However, just looking back on my busy life and Dave’s busy life, I can confidently say that in almost every situation, WE have some say over what we do and do not make time for.
We can decide if we want to make time for another house project or if it’s just too stressful and we’d rather wait until later.
We can decide if we want to make time for keeping the house clean or if we’d rather work on a hobby, go out with friends, or take a nap.
We can decide if we want to make more time for sleeping or get a little less sleep and make more time for working, hobbies, house projects, or whatever.
I can choose to make more time to grow my blog and build my social media presence, or just let it “coast” for a few months while I make more time for family and fun.
I can also choose to send my kids to daycare which would make A LOT more time for me to get stuff done around the house.
We can choose to make more time for family and friends, or stay home and make more time for house work, house projects, working, or just spending time with our own family.
We can make time to get involved in lots of church, school, and community activities, or we could decide that it’s just not worth it with little kids and make time for more fun at home.
We can choose to make time for cooking from scratch or we can choose to go out to eat in order to make time for other activities.
We can make time for fun vacations or choose to use that time (and money) for home projects, to start a new hobby, grow a business, etc.
Even when it come’s to Dave’s school schedule (which doesn’t offer time off outside of normal school breaks) he still has some say over what he will and will not make time for. If there is a very important activity happening during a school day, he can decide if he wants to make sub plans and hire a sub or if it’s just not worth the hassle so he’d rather skip the event.
I could go on and on — but I think you get the idea.
Every day, we make hundreds of decisions as to what we will and will not make time for.
We will all make different decisions at different times and in different seasons of life. The difference is not bad — it’s just priorities.
Dave and I usually prefer to stay home, get the kids in bed early, and make time to finish up a house project and catch up on work, while one of my sisters and her husband (no kids) will almost always prefer to go out with friends. Before kids, Dave and I probably would have gone out — but now, with kids, it’s easier to stay in.
Dave and I prefer to make more time for our kids and less time for church and community activities — while other families we know (with older kids) are SUPER involved with church and community — and that’s also how they spend their time together as a family.
I make time to keep my house clean and the laundry under control, but that means I’m choosing not to make time for something else.
Dave makes time to go running at night, but that means he’s not making time for another activity he might also enjoy.
Yes, there are days when my to-do list goes mostly undone, but that’s usually because Simon was extra fussy, Nora needed more attention, or I was just too tired. I made the decision to ignore my do-to list — knowing full well that it would mean more work for me later in the week.
Yes, there are times when I would love do something, but it just doesn’t work out because it’s not worth it for me to make the time. Maybe it conflicts with something else I was already committed to doing, maybe I can’t find childcare, maybe it costs too much money, or maybe I’m just too tired to do one more thing. Whatever the reason, I still have the ability to MAKE that choice — it’s not being forced upon me.
Whenever I start thinking “I don’t HAVE time for ______” I try to stop and think about any way that I could MAKE time for it.
Could I move my schedule around?
Could I find someone to watch our kids?
Could I skip something else to free up more time?
If not, then I choose not to make time for that activity.
Thinking this way makes me feel less frustrated and more empowered.
It changes my outlook on my day from feeling busy and stressed to instead, feeling happy and thankful that I am able to make choices as to how I spend my time.
Maybe it’s not the choice I would have made 3 years ago, or last week, or tomorrow, or in 6 months, but it’s the choice I’m making today based on everything else going on in my life at that moment.
So the next time you’re feeling frustrated that you don’t HAVE enough time for everything on your to-do list, stop and think about different ways you might be able to MAKE the time.
If you decide you can’t MAKE the time, those projects might not be very important to you and you might benefit from dropping the tasks completely (ask me how I know!)