If only I didn’t work a full-time job 35 minutes away from home…
If only I weren’t so tired at night…
If only the kids weren’t so demanding…
If only I had a laptop and faster internet service…
If only I had the time…
Excuses. Distractions. Dwelling on what’s already happened or has yet to happen, forever ignoring the “right now.” Sound familiar?
If I had to put a number on it, I’d estimate that 8-15% of my time during any given 168-hour period (that’s a week for those of you who may not be as mathy as I) is available for use as I see fit. That’s roughly 13-25 hours per week. (See previous post: Striking a Balance.)
25 hours sounds like a lot, but it’s half as much time as I spend at work. And by “at work,” I mean actually working, driving to work, driving home, taking potty breaks, pretending to work, or sleeping with my eyes open at my desk. And Facebook. Let’s not forget Facebook, for Pete’s sake.
But so many of those 13-25 weekly “free” hours are seemingly frittered away on things like putting out metaphorical fires (like breaking up arguments between any combination of our three boys or making a second or third grocery store run that week) or being depressed and/or pissy. Lousy SAD.
So let’s pretend for a minute that I did have the time to do all of the things I’d like to do in a day. What would I do? Sit and click around on Facebook all day? Perhaps. But let’s make a list just for esses and gees.
- Watch some of the shows I love, like Firefly and Buffy.
- Read blogs, graphic novels (like Serenity and Buffy), non-fiction, fiction, etc. Not just food ingredient labels and work emails about adjusting student financial aid packages. (He said “adjusting packages…”)
- Get creative! Write blog posts and songs, play music, work on website design, what have you.
- Get outside. Heaven forbid I should ever see the light of day. Internal office = no windows. *sad face*
- Play with my kids.
- Any number of lazy and/or non-responsible-adult-like activities that might tickle my fancy at any given moment including but not limited to playing video games, watching movies, listening to music, or sitting in a lawn chair, staring at the stars.
Point of clarification on item #5: I actually have plenty of opportunities to play with my kids. I’d just like to genuinely enjoy it more often. Unless I feel somewhat happy and refreshed, it’s not easy to get down on the floor and play Memory or head down to the basement to play robot/Star Wars/fort/stuffed animals. When I’m feeling energized and right with the world? Hand me that Transformer and a Light Saber! Let’s storm the fort and kick some Angry Birds plush pig butt!
Sadly, it’s rare these days to feel energized and right with the world. It feels like I’m in a perpetual hold pattern, always waiting for something to come along and make me happy.
The other day, The Organic Sister updated her Facebook and Twitter status with, “Say it with me: I choose to spend my time doing what I love every day.” My first thought was, “If I did that, we’d be homeless.” But there’s another way of looking at this.
Alternate wording #1: I choose to spend time doing what I love. Maybe it’s only for 15 minutes, but I make it happen.
Alternate wording #2: I love providing food, shelter, and medical insurance for my family, and I choose to do it every day when I get out of bed and show up for work.
Alternate wording #3: I find ways to love what I do. Ouch. That just doesn’t even feel right in my finger tips. There are lots of things to complain about when it comes to my job and work environment. There are plenty of aspects of my job that I’m not naturally well-suited for. HOWEVER, I do have a few job duties for which I am well-suited, and those things energize me when I’m engaged at work and perform them well. I have to pull from that.
And that’s only referring to my job. I am not my job. There are plenty of other hours in the day during which I can be more dynamic. For example, if I “suck it up” and play robot/Star Wars/fort/stuffed animals tonight, even if I’m feeling crabby or short-fused, chances are it’s going to energize me for a successful bedtime routine, which could reduce the incidence of whining and arguing, which could make for better/more sleep for my kids, which could mean improved behavior tomorrow, which would inevitably energize me for more fort storming tomorrow night.
Say it with me: I do not wait around for motivation to strike. I prioritize engaging in activities that energize me. I am purposeful in my behaviors and intentional in my attitude.
As always, thanks for reading, commenting, and sharing with others!