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Sunday, March 13, 2011

What have you done with YOUR time?


Time is one of those concepts that you, and only you, can determine in your life. How often have you said, “I just didn't have the time,” or heard the excuses, i.e., “I would have come by and helped you (called you, visited you, etc.) but I just didn't have the time.” One of my personal favorites is, “I didn't get anything done this week, I just didn't have the time.” Really? NO time? Whatsoever? My philosophy is this, if you think you don't have the time or feel you don't have the time, then probably you are taking on more than you need to be taking on in your life, whether by choice or not. Let's face it, sometimes it's hard to use the word, “NO” often enough. I'm one of those people who likes to help other people so of course, when asked to lend a hand, time or no time, I always say, “sure.” It took me a lot of years, but I have recently learned a polite way to say, “I'm sorry, I have other plans that day,” or things of that nature, just so I don't feel stressed out and over wrought. Some call it selfish, but time is selfish and if we don't take some of it for ouselves, what is the point really?

Sress is a word that says your perception of things in your life is pretty much negative and that you are taking on too much. Stress does not necessarily have to be involved in your life, in any way. Planning is everything. Sure spontaneity is exciting and it sounds dull to plan in your life, but if we plan the bulk of our daily lives, we free ourselves up for spontaneity.

What would be so bad about leaving the freaking cell phone at home a couple of days a week? Maybe going home and uplugging would ease stress as well. Don't turn on the computer or the television. Take a hot shower or bath, read a book instead. Our world is so “plugged in” and all of this technology that was created to make things easier and free up time, is the very culprit of usurping our time and causing all of this stress, but that's only if we let it.  Lately, when I get home after work, I have been consciously not turning on the television. or computer.  I go to my craft table and enjoy myself, no electronics involved.  I feel so relaxed after a play date in craft-land and because I have no noise in the room, it is much like meditation for me, oils burning and soft music playing in the background (wow, I'm an easy date...lol).  I can't believe the wonderful difference it makes. 

My advice here? Take a deep, diaphragmatic breath, let it out slowly and repeat four or five times. Then sit down and make of list of your week. What you normally do, your process for doing it, etc., and see how many things or steps you can eliminate. Then, reward yourself for each block of time you free up. For example, if you free up 15 minutes on a Tuesday after work, reward yourself with a leisurly 15-minute stroll through the neighborhood with your camera in hand (or music, whichever you prefer), or bring back the art of letter writing. I know a couple of my friends and I still keep that lost art alive. I love nothing more than looking for a letter in the mail. It takes away from all of the junk mail and bills and you get to read things about your friends' lives. If you're creative, hey, make a card and write a letter in that as well.

Make the time to take the time.

Shortly after posting this post I looked at the daily quote on my blog and it read as follows:
"Our problems are man-made, therefore they may be solved by man...No problem of human destiny is beyond human beings.   JFK

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