William Penn said that time is what we want most, but what we use the worst. That’s certainly true for me! I am 100% Type A (no surprise to you who know me!). This is both a blessing and a curse. I love this about myself because it makes me driven, ambitious, and competitive. I hate it because it stresses me out when I feel like I don’t have time to live up to expectations. (Such as this blog! I’m writing about time and don’t have time to finish this!) I have been complaining about not having enough time since I was a teenager. I have vivid memories from college and early in my career when I was stressed about not having enough time. I would call my Dad to vent and get reassurance that things were going to be ok. He told me time and again, “Gina, time is all you have.” It seems like a simple statement and is easy to dismiss, but if you truly break down the message, it is very profound. How do I define time? Is time defined as my work day? Is it the amount of time I have at home or with my family and friends? Is time my 44th year which I am dedicating to downsizing? Or is time larger than that? Time is the whole of my lifetime. I have found that I tend to define time differently depending upon my immediate life need. If I have a deadline at work, that is how I define time. If I’m looking at Facebook memories of our daughter, that is how I define time. So on and so on, I think you get it. Regardless of what things come and go in our life, be it people, possessions, or jobs, the one thing that remains is time. My Dad was telling me to manage my most valuable asset, my time, and everything else would fall into place. Time is all I have.
It has been over a week since I have had the time to sit and write. Correction, it has been over a week since I have managed my time correctly and have been able to sit and write. I have been frustrated and feeling overwhelmed because I feel like I don’t have enough time to accomplish everything. A normal day for me goes like this –
· Morning: Wake up at 4:30 and have coffee, hopefully force myself to do some exercise, get our daughter up and ready for school, pack her lunch & snack, make sure the dog is taken care of, get myself ready and leave the house by 7:30 to drop her at school and head to work.
· Work day: Most every day is jam packed with meetings of all kinds. When I am not with someone, I am working like crazy to finish my work load. I usually work thru lunch. If I do go out for lunch, it is for work. (I squeeze in a friend lunch every once in a while, but not often. Today was a treat!) I frequently have work obligations outside of normal business hours at social gatherings and various events with which TTS are affiliated. I work a lot.
· Evening: Either pick up our daughter from after school homework club or relieve the babysitter, make sure she has finished her homework, practiced piano & violin, and make a decision about dinner. We try to always eat together as a family, sometimes at the table and other times in front of the tv watching a show we all enjoy, but together. After dinner, comes cleaning up and getting our daughter to shower and to bed by 9:00. At 9:01, stick a fork in me – I’m done. I am lucky because my husband helps with dinner, the kitchen, and getting our daughter to bed. After she goes to bed, I crash.
Somewhere in the middle of that is laundry, straightening up the house, grocery shopping, and making sure all other household appointments are handled. My husband works in Birmingham so any vet appointments or doctor appointments are mine. Whew, I’m tired from just typing this out.
Please don’t think I’m complaining. I love my job and the people I work with. I love my family too. It’s just that as I look at my schedule, I realize there is no time for me. I never have alone time and as an introvert, that means I am constantly exhausted. It also means there is no extra time to accomplish my goal of downsizing and blogging about it.
I’m telling you all of this because it explains why I am choosing to downsize. I want to manage my time better so that I have more time to enjoy life and to stop being exhausted. I think less home obligations will free up some of my time.
The irony in all of this is I can’t seem to find the time to downsize so that I can better manage my free time. It’s a good thing I gave myself a year to figure this out! Time is all I have…