We All Get 24 Hours

It seems everyone is always running out of time to do things myself included.  Each of us complains about not having enough time.   There was once a commercial showing people driving up to an ATM like machine and getting a few more minutes or a couple hours because they did not have enough time.  I’ve looked for it on YouTube and could not find it to share here, because it was so perfect for this post.  It was great because it showed that each of us would like more time to do things in our lives.

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This post started to formulate in my mind,  when someone said to me that I had more time than they did.   Seriously I have more time?   Yes, I may not have a job outside the home at this moment, but I get the same 24 hours as everyone else.    I am not going to go on about all the work type stuff that I do to justify what I do in a day.   Instead I am going to talk about what I do with the non-work time, to carve out time for things the bring me me joy, and renew my soul.  Hopefully this post will inspire you to find some ways to carve out time that nurtures your spirit.

When it is time for a work break, I used to spend it at my desk catching up on the news on the internet.   Now I get up and leave my desk and take Zip, my dog, for a walk.   I get outside and enjoy the day or freeze my butt off, either way I know what is really going on outside in the world.

When it is time to cook dinner, RangerSir and I work tandem and talk about what each of us did that day, solve the world’s problems, or compare notes on what new crazy is happening in American politics.   It is time to stay connected.  It is family time for us.

After dinner RangerSir relaxes by watching TV.   He picks out what he wants to stream that night for his viewing pleasure.   I on the other hand generally can’t imagine that, so this is the time when I go to my studio space and get creative.   It is this time in the evening when I take art type classes online and do my assignments.   It is during this  time when I make samples for classes I plan to teach.   It is this time when I think of friends and make cards to let them know I am thinking of them.  It is this time when I try things I have never done before. It is the time when I work on writing.   I work on my journal and explore in mixed media.   It is time with no excuses for just me.

Lately I feel like I don’t have enough time.  Yet I realize it is my choice not to have enough time.  That feeling stretched thin is a result of my choices, that second class right now may have been more than I should have put on my plate.   There are things in my life I probably don’t have to do, and yet I do them sacrificing things I’d rather do.   If you are working two jobs to put a roof over your head this post is probably not fair to you, but most of us do have some free time and maybe we just are not using it right for us.  We are picking to do things that do not feed our soul with our discretionary time, so we look at others with envy when we see them do things that we wish we could do.

When you feel like you don’t have enough time for yourself, ask yourself what things in your day  are discretionary and  you could actually choose spend your time differently than you have in the past.   Start today and carve out time not “just for yourself” but to do something that makes you feel good.   Don’t go with the routine because it is easier not to change, but change because doing something refreshes you and make your life easier. We each only have 24 hours in a day, but doing something that is just for us, that makes us feel better can make  the rest of the day a much better experience. It is not selfish, it is survival.

What the heck is quality time?

I have been thinking about this alot lately.   This whole concept of quality time.   You hear people talking about wanting to spend quality time with the kids, their spouse, their parents.   People near and dear to our heart + time = quality time.

When does quality time happen?   Is quality time a certain hour on the clock?    Does it only occur on even days?   Maybe quality time only occurs on the Sabbath.   Maybe quality time only happens when you are good or do good.    Possibly it only happens when you are in the company of loved ones.   May be you can only experience quality time if you are right with  your spiritual higher being, God.

I think that the concept of quality time is an euphemism for not wasting your time on this earth.   Time is neither good nor bad.   It has no value of quality.   What we do with our time is what makes a difference.

Much of our time is taken up with things that are part of your survival.   You sleep away about 20% of your life.  Maybe you sleep a little more or a little less, but sleep is nonnegotiable. You spend about 40 or so hours a week at work so you can have the basic necessities of  shelter and food. If you are lucky your job is not too much of a drag, and you don’t spend your hours at work in misery.  Most of us enjoy some portion of our work day, and other parts just drag on.    Our ancestors spent part of their days as hunter gathers and that was their job.   Our jobs may not seem so directly related to life’s necessities, but it in may ways is not so different than our ancestors, we seek to have food in our belly and not be out in the elements.    Jobs make that possible.

Once you take out the hours you sleep and work, you are left with discretionary time.   Just like any money you have left over after your bills are paid, you get to choose how you will spend it.    This is the time people often call  quality time.   It is not of any more quality than the hours we have spent at work and sleeping.   Often we waste our  quality time.  We choose to fritter the quality time away like we do that the pocket change and small bills in our wallet or purse.     We wasted minutes that turn into hours, the same way spend a dollar here and there that turns into $50 or $100 .     We choose to use that quality time in ways that don’t bring any enjoyment or make a difference.     It isn’t quality at all.      We need to decide that  we will  enjoy our free time in the company of others, doing things that we have always wanted to do, spending it alone in  reflection or making the difference we want to do so.  We need to resolve to  use our free time to improve the quality of our life.