If I could save time in a bottle…. (are you singing it?) 😉
This morning I decided to write about time. The time we take and the time we give. We tend, I think, to give much more time than we take for ourselves and for what is really important.
Today, Saturday, is the one day a week when my family has no where to go and no need to jump out of bed and run out the door. It’s blueberry pancake day and, if I remembered to pick some up, bacon. My husband had a gig scheduled in the late afternoon and I had a friend coming over to work on VBS music at 4. At 9 I was sitting at the table drinking my bulletproof coffee, looking like something the cat dragged in when the phone rang (it rarely does that). It was my eye doctor (on a Saturday-weird, I know) who had a cancellation and could I come in?
I hesitated momentarily, thinking this would ruin my Saturday morning laziness but then realizing this would free me up on Tuesday morning so I could go to bible study, I said yes. Although I had to jump up, tame the hair and look presentable in about 5 minutes it was worth it. Not only did I get my (red, tender, and -ew- crusty) eyes looked at, I ran to Aldi AND the fruit stand, yet was home by noon! Never am I that productive on a Saturday.
What I think is so great about simplifying our lives and opening up space in our schedules is that when a last minute opportunity comes along, you can grab it without much fuss or second guessing. Had I been scheduled for something else, like gymnastics or ballet for the girls, I wouldn’t have been able to go, I would have been forced to sit through their lesson and I would have missed out on bible study. Instead, I got 3 errands done, the girls spent the morning in the garden with daddy and then helped cook lunch with veggies from the garden. No pressure. We even had time to work on a few songs for church before my husband had to leave. I think that sounds much more idyllic, don’t you?
Now, I am not opposed to children’s lessons and such but it seems to me there is more value in a morning spent with daddy in the garden followed by a cooking lesson than learning how to plie. Especially at 4.
There is a lot of pressure to schedule ourselves to death and I’ve been guilty of it myself. It’s hard to say no to requests for our time, especially if requested by the grey haired variety of other humans (or at least it should be if you have a heart… 😉 ). And when kids want to do some activity that they will just die if they don’t do because all their friends are doing it and they wouldn’t see their friends otherwise and they would be soooooo disappointed if they didn’t do… For some it’s extra work related projects you take home. Sometimes it’s a necessity like a part time job for much needed extra income and can’t be helped. But somewhere in our busy, always seems like it’s speeding up lives , we need to make some space for the unexpected, opportunities, for adventure or just, for nothing.
Time will keep passing. Eventually we will get to the end. Then what? What do you want your past to look like? I know my future is in heaven but I’d like to think that my past will have made a difference and had meaning other than being tossed to and fro. I’ve had enough of that so far. I’d like to change the landscape of my past by changing the course of TODAY.
It may be hard to think of your past when everyone is concerned for the future but in God’s infinite and timeless universe all time is past present and future. We can’t change what has been before today but a little bit of awareness means we CAN change what yesterday will look like tomorrow (are you confused? Stay with me!). What do you want yesterday to look like? How do you want to launch your tomorrow? What are you doing right now to make that happen?
I feel like I’ve been wasting time by wasting time. I spent years working multiple jobs to buy things I no longer own and can’t even recall. I spent time with people I don’t remember doing things I don’t want to remember (I am really glad I only found Facebook after my girls were born!) and I wish I had been doing something meaningful instead.
To change that I am becoming more intentional about my time choices. What am I doing? Who am I doing it with? Yesterday I had a day off and rather than just sit at home I picked up my older daughter and we spent the day together. The little ones went to the zoo with grandma. A couple of weeks ago I went to see Jimmy Buffett with my husband. What a great memory! Those are the yesterdays I want to remember.
My challenge to myself and to anyone reading this is to take a long hard look at your time. What is important to you? Are you filling your time with that? Are you enjoying your family? What are your priorities? Does your schedule reflect that?
For example: I have been working only part time since the girls were 8 months old. We adjusted our spending and budget to accommodate that. I have recently been spending extra time each week preparing and practicing music for church on Sundays because our music director retired and they needed someone to fill in for a little while. My church family is a priority to me and I am privileged to be able to use my voice and (marginal) guitar skills to glorify God. So spending this time is a joy to me even if its nerve-wracking to be up there every week! I would be at church anyway on Sunday and I am really enjoying the time my husband and I are spending doing this. So, for me, this is an excellent use of my extra time now that the girls are older and less time demanding and much more rewarding that working extra hours at my regular job.
So, are you up for the challenge? Ready to get rid of the “time suckers” in your life in exchange for a life worth living? I sure am! Let’s do this!