This week I was totally inspired by Annie Lamott's delightful little piece from Sunset Magazine – "Time Lost and Found' – you can read the whole thing here: http://www.sunset.com/travel/anne-lamott-how-to-find-time It's more focused on the creative endeavor of writing than on beading, but the same principle applies. And to more than just beading. Like exercizing, and walking the dog, and spending time with your kids and your spouse, if you have any of those.
Annie's main point was that you have to MAKE time to do the things that are important to you. It's never going to give itself to you willingly. (Time, that is.) We're all going to have different versions of this story, but here's my average day, and I'm RETIRED!!! I really don't even want to think about how I juggled everything when I was working. (Nor do I want to talk about all the time it took to get The Bead started up as a small business -- but you can read about it in this previous post: How We Started THE BEAD.) I think there must be some sort of 'work adrenaline' in your brain that makes you able to bear the crushing burden of a "day job", and sometimes two jobs, and sometimes two jobs and a family. And some people do even more. So back to my average day lately:
7 – 8 a.m. Get up, shower, and go through a regimen of about 25 pills and special tonics for a variety of health issues about evenly distributed between me, my husband and my elderly dog; squeeze breakfast preparation in there somewhere, usually something easy like oatmeal or cereal or boiled eggs;
8 – 8:30 a.m. Walk the dog
8:30 – 9:00 a.m. Drive across town to get to my 88 year old mother's house so I can:
(from 9 – 11:30 a.m.) ...get her to the grocery store, doctor's office, home improvement store (her favorite place), or one of her other current projects (or needs);
11:30 – 12:30 Have lunch somewhere with mom
12:45/1 – 2:00 p.m. Tackle the chores at mom's house that she needs or wants help with. This time of year, it's raking and bagging endless leaves covering her half-acre homesite, or winterizing her fish pond, or cleaning the kitchen and floors, or purging her freezer of antique and questionable "food" she's left there for too long, or hauling Christmas decorations out of the attic, or getting up on a ladder to change a light bulb (to keep her from getting on the ladder when I'm not around), etc. – you get the drift.
2:00 p.m. – 2:30 Drive home to beat the bad rush hour that seems to start around 3 or 3:30
3:30 – 4:00 Figure out something for dinner & prep
4:00 – 5:00 p.m. Get started on business-related duties. Stuff like taking photographs, loading up a few of the backlogged items I've never had time to load up onto the Etsy shop site, do a few marketing things on various social media sites, etc. Try to get as much done before my husband gets home from doing his projects and starts pestering me to do the same kind of stuff for his own EBay shop, because he isn't too technology savvy and also isn't too eager to learn a bunch of new computer/social media stuff at this point in his life.
5 – 6 p.m. Finish/Eat Dinner!!
6: - 6:30 p.m. Repeat medication/tonic regimen for the sickly trio (me, hubby and dog)
6:30 – 6:45 p.m. Give the dog another short walk, per vet's recommendation
6:45 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. More business related work that I didn't have time to do before dinner (blog writing, bookkeeping, bead organizing, correspondence, etc.)
8: - 9 p.m. If I'm not passing out, as I do sometimes because my body seems to require a LOT of sleep, I watch something on TV with my husband or read part of a book.
9 p.m. Pass Out.
So I know I don't have, as Annie Lamott put it, "two kids at home, a stable of horses, a hive of bees, plus 40 hour workweeks". But I DID used to have an 60-something work week (plus was on call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week), and before that I worked a 40 hour job plus a part-time job on the side, and somewhere squeezed writing and publishing a novel into all that. So I know what it means to spend "this one precious life in a spin of multitasking stress" – and I'm very grateful to not be trapped in that any more.
I do agree with Annie that no matter how bad things are, there are decisions that can be made to carve out more time for what's most important to you. I agree that housework should be one of the first things to go. It doesn't matter if you can't hire anyone to clean or talk anyone in the family into helping out. Switch to paper plates! Wear the same clothes an extra time or two! Learn to ignore that layer of dust on the bookshelves! Food and food preparation is a big time-vampire too. Fast food isn't such a great option, health-wise, so I go for lots of little tubs filled with crockpot soups and casseroles I make once a week – I stack them up in the freezer and pull a few out all week long. Exercize? Even retired, I don't seem to have time for the gym. So I wear a pedometer and walk the dog and make sure I work my exercise into all the stuff I have to do all day long anyway.
Solutions will be different for everyone, but everyone has to live this same truth: "Every day you need an hour of quiet time for yourself, unless you're incredibly busy and stressed, in which case, you need an hour."
What will you do with that precious hour? For me, it will be to read a book or write a bit on a book in progress. For Shannon, I think it would be sewing on her wonderful quilt in progress, or piecing together a beautiful necklace, or having a rare chance to simply visit with a friend. In any case, I recommend you find that precious hour. Light a stick of incense or a candle to 'mark the time' and make it a ceremony or celebration. Find a special place in your home or elsewhere that is sacred and reserved for that time with your Self. And if you get a chance at some point, tell us about it – we'd love to hear about YOUR average day, and how you manage it, as well as your own sacred time.
Until next week,