Thursday, January 13, 2011

Time is abundant

There's this idea among human beings that I used to employ myself.

If only I had more time, I could do ... X Y Z.

More time and I could write my novel. More time and I could edit my short story. More time and I could find that unique job I've always wanted.

I've been waiting around for more time all my life.

Last year, when I finally finished my novel after 10 years, I learned the most valuable lesson in my life. Time is abundant. Even for busy working moms like myself. We can do this. We can make dreams a reality.

Sometimes it means saying no and I've had to do that in some heartbreakingly hard ways this week, too. Sometimes, it means saying yes.

This year, in nothing short of good New Year's Resolution-style, I made a commitment to something, well, someone.


I vowed to fit things in that I've just never had the time for in the past. Writing is one. Exercise is another. Downtime is the last.

How though? How can I, in a single day or week, work 40-Plus hours, be a great mother of twin girls, remain as a volunteer in my community and still be a writer and a wife and someone who cares and takes care of her body? How is that humanely possible?

Until two weeks ago, I lived under this immense assumption that it wasn't possible and, lo and behold, it didn't have to be possible. By even considering doing all of these things in a single day, I was crazy. I held my own expectations up in the clouds.

And then I had a wee bit of an epiphany. What if? What if I can do it? What if I can be all of these things in a single week?

I thought it over and journaled about it and experimented with some ideas. And then it occurred to me. I didn't have to do it all each day. I just needed a schedule.

I set out to fit it all in Monday through Friday. I work out/do yoga three mornings at 5 a.m. and I write/edit two mornings. I also add a little writing and editing in at night after the girls are asleep and that's also when I get some much-needed downtime to do nothing. And, my reward for doing all of this during the work week? I get to do whatever I want on Saturdays and Sundays. The result is much less stress. No more wondering when it will happen. No more wondering how it will happen. No more trying to squeeze it in during valuable weekend family time (unless I want to).

I'm not sure why this never came to me before or why I made fitting it all in so complicated.

But now that I'm so regimented, I truly believe that time is abundant. But I have to get up and say yes, yes this is going to happen today. Or it doesn't happen.


  1. Thanks for this! I found it from Tara Gentile's tweet, and I like it. My question is, how do you feel about your downtime? I've had an issue lately where everytime I have a little downtime, I end up feeling guilty for not doing something productive during that time--and yet, I'm still always yearning for that time to myself! It's such a destructive process. It would help if I had accomplished all the to do's before I have my downtime by scheduling all tasks like you suggested.

  2. I think you answered your own question. One other tip I can offer, in addition to just getting the other tasks done first, is to give yourself 5 or 10 minutes to do that one nagging thing. Usually, once I do that, I feel like I've accomplished a lot and can truly sink into downtime, which ultimately makes me more productive anyway. ; ) Thanks for reading!

  3. I've been trying to implement a schedule with work days, free days etc but have found it hard to stick to. What's helped you to stick to your schedule?

  4. Hi Dana -- Having a whole weekend to devote to other things is what drives me to get it all done during the week. I'll be honest, it isn't easy. I work full-time and so I have to go to bed earlier to make it work but it's liberating to know I can leave these things out of the weekend equation.