“Time is what we want most, but what we use worst.”
― William Penn
I know I’m not alone when I tell you that I meet myself coming and going most days….I know many of us do. I am a working parent without a partner and can complain about that all day long. But I’ve been inspired these last few months (especially in the lock down of the pandemic) to rethink my concept of time. Up until recently, you might have overheard me saying, “There just never seems to be enough time” followed by a big sigh. But, guess what? Time levels the great playing field for us all because simply – we each only have 24 hours a day. You, me, heads of state, the pope, the richest person in the world; each of us has the same amount of time available; some just use it better.
“It’s being here now that’s important. There’s no past and there’s no future. Time is a very misleading thing. All there is ever is the now. We can gain experience from the past, but we can’t relive it, and we can hope for the future, but we don’t know if there is one.”
― George Harrison
Byron Katie, in her book, Loving What Is, challenges the concept of pushing hard against the myriad of issues that arise in our lives and instead suggests ‘embracing’ them just as they are…. raw, less than perfect and real. Once we ‘open’ to what honestly is happening in our world and drop the drama and frantic energy around our struggle against things (read that as resistance); then we may have a different experience if we allow ourselves.
I’ve always been a great list maker and I love crossing things off. Although, I had noted that I wasn’t getting to cross off as much as I wanted for most of 2020 and 2021. Responsible organization inevitably calls for a list of priorities of some sort; however, I would find myself stressing as I leaned into a deadline and threatened to implode if I blew through one. Don’t get me wrong, some deadlines require leaning into; but my habit had become imagining the worst about my use of time. ALWAYS. So, rather than rewarding myself for effective use of time when that in fact happened, I was mentally castigating myself (complete with painful mental flogging and more big sighing) over ‘what ifs’ such as ‘what if I was late,’ what if things didn’t go as I have planned,’ what if my colleague(s) didn’t get info to me as promised,’ ‘what if it took longer,’ what if, what if, what if,……
So, one day I pledged ‘no more’ to what-if drama. No more push, push, push. No crankier Mommy judgmentally shuffling behind a perceived slower than molasses and resistant kid, harping ‘come on move on.’ Instead, I’ve been practicing a new discipline with TIME in my life and I’ve had rich results. I’ve opted to feel differently about TIME and the demands on my TIME. I’ve snuggled up against it; I’ve decided to enjoy my time more than I did in the past. I stopped cursing its passing and laude the pockets of it that I protected to use in a dedicated way. I’ve allowed myself this shift each day. I value time and honor it by having a schedule; I respect my priorities by looking at them each day, but most of all I take care of myself by taking my foot off the gas (WINK; most of the time – old habits do die hard) and with intention I allow the flow of the day to take me from task to task. With my master schedule, I build in ‘cathedrals of time’ for my work and know that at the end of the day I will review, revise, and recommit to my top priorities moving on without castigation or dwelling on what-ifs………
What if you tried something like that too? What if?
As always, I wish you health and a clear path to offer your professional creativity within a job that’s truly right for you.
Success – at work, at play, everyday!