There is EXACTLY enough time to do what is important to you
Look at your bank statement. Where are you spending your money? Look at your calendar. How do you fill your days? How you spend your time and money gives you a little insight into what you value these days. Or you might be surprised to discover that you are wasting efforts on things you don’t even care about at all and need to prioritize your life a bit better.
My calendar used to be filled up completely with activities for my kids. Toddler story time at the library, play dates, travel back and forth to nursery school, Spanish lessons, Tae Kwon Do, day trips to the Children’s Museum, finding new parks, etc. All my money was spent on the kids. My favorite store was Teacher Heaven for their great educational products. I bought Rock ‘N’ Learn DVDs, Singapore Math workbooks, the complete Your Baby Can Read series (books, videos, flashcards) and numerous other creative toys. I was Tiger Mom Hardcore.
And while I look back and really love that time in my life and was grateful to thoroughly explore with and enjoy my children, I also realize that it was not at all balanced. Time with my husband meant sharing cocktails and chips while we killed Zombies on Wii after the kids fell asleep. Although I did manage to save the world I did not save my waistline.
And “me” time? Oh, that’s funny. And no, folding laundry and vacuuming does not count as “me” time. I didn’t have time to go to the gym; I had small children. I didn’t have time to eat right; frozen pizza was faster than a salad. I didn’t have time to make myself presentable beyond putting my hair in a ponytail; that would require more energy than I had. I began to feel fat, frumpy, tired, put-upon and disconnected from anything beyond motherhood.
My friend Deirdre has a T-shirt I love; she got it for her birthday one year from her friend Mo-Mo. The shirt says,
“Everything changed the day she realized there is EXACTLY enough time to do what is important to her.”
My kids are still my top priority. But they are not my only priority anymore. Henri and I are reconnecting as a couple and not just tired parents. I’m starting to cook more. Now when Henri comes home from work we eat together as a family. Not every night, but enough nights. Sometimes we even have (dare I say?) a date night.
Now I go to the gym for two hours every morning, and I’m home before anyone even wakes up. I absolutely cherish those two hours. I’m surrounded by adults, I get to listen to my favorite music (2Pac) and can work out any aggressions via squats. Two hours a day five days a week sounds like a lot, doesn’t it? Well when you consider there are 24 hours in a day x 7 days that equals 168 hours, so 10 hours a week at the gym means I’m still dedicating 94% of my time to everyone else. So, yeah, I’m keeping my “me” time at the gym. I’ve earned it.
Scroll through your calendar and peruse your credit cards bills. What do you value right now? Are you happy with your choices? Or is it time make some changes?
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