Where does the time go? It flies or it drags depending upon what I'm doing. When it's something I enjoy, it takes wing and the hours disappear in a blitz of satisfaction and pleasure. When it's dealing with something that hurts or a job I hate, it can drag on seemingly endlessly.
Time is the coin of the realm in my life now, and I find myself trying to spend it wisely, in a balanced and productive way.
That's why I did a mini-evaluation recently of how I'm using this precious commodity. The long list of household chores (many of which I share with my husband) and volunteer activities felt somewhat onerous when I listed them. Combined with the daily bout of gotta-get-dones, many things seem to be omnivorously eating my days.
Recently I have felt the pressure to find a way to step out of this merry-go-round and find time for something else. That's when I realized that one doesn't "find" time. One has to "make" it. The responsibility is mine and mine alone.
And so I have come up with an idea that I've been trying out. I call it "Rescue Reading." I am trying to set aside an inviolate hour a day just to read. I've always loved reading but have found over the past few years that I can't seem to find the time to do it much. So lately, I've been stopping sometime in the middle of the day and sitting down with a good book. All else just waits.
The first time I did it, I was truly surprised at the result. It was noon. I left the dishes unwashed and the bed still not made, and sat down on the living room sofa with a book I've been trying to finish for months. After an hour or so, I put it aside and girded myself to resume the waiting tasks and commitments.
It was immediately interesting to me that I felt somehow more energized than when I had sat down for this break. All the tasks I needed/wanted to complete were waiting patiently for me. But I came to them with a different outlook – no pressure to finish them so that I could finally relax and read. No resentment at having to spend time on self-imposed deadlines.
And I realized that for much of my life, I have been working under the wrong mantra – no fun till the work is done. And so I have begun to work at making time for the fun things during the day, not saving them for the evenings when I might be exhausted or over-driven. When I was employed and owed my time to someone else, I couldn't make this choice very often. And once I retired, I unconsciously maintained the workplace ethic of "get-the-jobs-done first."
No longer. Rescue reading has given me the courage to make different choices than I've been used to. I feel as if I have saved myself from drowning and have begun to swim. And it feels so good to go where this new understanding has taken me.