It is nonsense to say there is not enough time to be fully informed…Time given to thought is the greatest time saver of all. ~ Norman Cousins
Some days I think the world’s favorite pastime is demonizing time. Without a thought, we banter about sayings like “I don’t have time for that.” Or “I ran out of time.” Or “ Honey, I didn’t have time to _____.” You fill in the blank.
As these words roll off our tongue with ease and without thought, we postpone happiness, even potentially rupturing significant relationships.
As caregivers and special needs parents, many of us have uttered these very words. These phrases are used to pacify a boss, put off a subordinate, or make excuses to a loved one for letting the little things get in the way of the important stuff. Making TIME the villian is too easy.
Is it dangerous to demonize time?
Think about it, if TIME were a person, how would it feel? If we blamed a best friend for all the things we didn’t get done, how long would they remain our friend?
Relationships expand or contract depending on how we nurture them. What would happen if we stopped abusing our relationship with time and started loving it? Would time grow? Would it expand enough so there would be time for ourselves?
What if we treated TIME like it was special?
There was a time (pun intended) when my relationship with time was pathetic. The responsibilities of single parenting overwhelmed me as I frantically worked to get the kids out the door every morning. There never seemed to be enough time to help my son, Kasey with his homework, clean house and prepare a presentation for an upcoming trip across the country. I had little time to care for myself. Can you relate?
Then, I ran out of time. I became ill and landed in the hospital. It was an occasion to revisit my priorities and my relationship with TIME. Our partnership didn’t improve overnight; we had to develop a fresh rapport with each other, starting with decluttering my life. (which I will share more with you in a later post) Perhaps one of the hardest lessons was learning how to say “no” and stop overcommitting myself. Although, from time to time, I am still capable of being over ambitious.
Things improved. The tyranny of the unimportant had loosened its grip, and I stopped getting involved in activities that didn’t make a difference to me or my family. I learned to stop focusing on what I can’t change and pay attention to what I can.
This experience taught me the real value of TIME and I started to have more of it. Time to dance, to write and even time to play tennis again with my friends, son and my eighty-six-year old mother and to to help organize our next Families at the Forefront of Technology Conference. Be sure to take the TIME to join us!
Spend your energies on what you value and love. Perhaps, you will begin to say things like, “Sure, I have time for that!”