Finding Time

Posted by Heather
In life
17Mar 09

     At the end of each day, I find myself trying to keep my eyes open for just a few minutes longer, so that I can get a couple more things accomplished before I fall asleep.  It has been said by many that there aren’t enough hours in a day, and although we’ve all heard that expression, I think it really is more than that – it has become true, because of the way we live our lives. 

     Think about how the hours in our days are supposed to be distributed – 8 hours for sleep ( ideally ) 8 hours ( or more ) for work ( for your average person ), which leaves only 8 hours for absolutely everything else.  How many hours in a day do you spend getting ready for work, preparing, eating, and cleaning up after meals, working out, doing housework, and running errands ? What about paying bills, making appointments, or being “on hold” on the phone with some company you are trying to contact ? If your work requires you to take courses, you may have homework and/or studying to do at night, as well.  How many minutes and hours do all these things add up to in your life?

     Most of these things are not considered optional – they must be done.  So, we sleep, we work, then we try to get as many “essential” tasks completed as we can, while we can stay awake … so we can get back up again the next day, and do it all over again.  Sounds fulfilling, doesn’t it ?  ( yeah, not so much . )

     What I wonder is, when do we have time to do things we enjoy, or are interested in ?  You know – maybe put up your feet and read a good book, go dancing, attend a social function, work on a hobby ?  What about spending relaxed, quality time with your partner/family/friends ? When is the last time you put pen to paper, and wrote someone you care about a real letter – not e-mail, texting etc. – a letter that requires some effort.  Most of us don’t even pick up the phone to keep in touch any more, as we feel we don’t have time for lengthy conversations.  Trying to keep up with answering e-mails on several accounts, replying on Facebook, telling everyone what you’re doing every 5 minutes on Twitter, writing your Blog posts – well, who has time left over for real communication ?

     It has been said that we must “make time” or “find time” to do the things that make us happy, the things that bring us joy, or that are important to us.  In fact, we are so busy just trying to get ready to go to work, so we can try and pay our bills by being at work all day, that we neither have the time nor energy for much else, when we do get home.

     Trying to cram everything into a 24 hour period usually results in one or more important things suffering – often it is sleep, proper nutrition, exercise, or the ability to relax, or let go of stress.  We feel we have to do a couple more loads of laundry, finish the work we didn’t have time to complete at the Office, or figure out the monthly bills –  before we allow ourselves time for the things we really need.  Next thing we know, we look at the clock, and realize we have to be up for work in 5 hours, we are exhausted, and haven’t done anything “just for us” that night.

     I recently had 3 days off, and I turned my cell phone off, didn’t even log onto the computer, and what a difference that made.  I was able to get some errands done, spend time with people I care about, get out and do things I enjoy, and now I feel refreshed, instead of weary.  You’d think I would feel happy, but now I am behind on my housework, my e-mails, and pretty much everything else that I “need” to do …

     … and I’m o.k. with that, because life really is too short, and I’d rather spend more time on the things and people that really matter, than on the things I pile onto my “to do” list, which is always an unrealistic list.  Bottom line is: with all the pressures we put on ourselves today, and the need to work hard just to scrape by, there really isn’t enough time left over for us to be well-rested, and emotionally, physically, and spiritually healthy.  So, what are we going to do about our current pace of life?  Has so-called “progress” and technology improved our quality of life ? Are we happier and healthier today than our parents were back in the day ? ( I think  not )

     It’s never too late to take a look at our priorities, and to try and stop putting so much pressure on ourselves.  Life can be tough, and most of the time it is, but there has to be a reason for it.  We have to find a way to enjoy it, even once in a while – at least that’s a start.


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