Thursday, March 24, 2016

Having "Enough" Time

I'm re-reading (well, re-skimming if I'm honest) Brene Brown's fabulous Daring Greatly for an upcoming book club, and I've been struck all over again by a message early on in the book about how we always seem to have a narrative of lack running through our minds all the time. We wake up in the morning thinking we did not get enough sleep. We go to bed at night feeling like we didn't have enough time to finish all the things we needed to do. We never have enough money or enough stuff or enough whatever.

For the past few years, I've been consciously trying to counteract that narrative in my life, especially when it comes to time. With the end of the semester rushing up on me and the attendant crush of term papers and final assignments and the added stress of completing my master's essay, it's very easy for me to feel like I'm too busy. Looking forward over the next month and a half, I just don't see how I'll have enough time to fit everything in, and it's a stressful feeling.

I know a lot of the popular advice right now about managing this problem of "busyness" is to just say no to to doing too much, cut out activities, and only focus on the core essentials. That is wonderful advice. There are lots of things I am saying no to (like TV, weeknight social activities, and a clean house).

But there are lots of good and wonderful things that I want in my life, things that I don't want to say no to, things that I don't ever want to be "too busy" for. If I've learned anything from past experience, it's that I DO have time for these good and wonderful things. If I plan and prioritize and mentally change the narrative in my head, I've found that I really do have time for all the best things. I just have to remind myself of that when the intimidatingly long to-do list is staring me down.

So that's why I'm here today. To remind myself that I have enough time. Here are all the things I have enough time for, right now, in this "busy" season of my life.

I have enough time for sleep (at least, 7.5 hours on average, with a nap on Sundays).

I have enough time for 30 minutes of yoga 5 days a week.

I have enough time to make healthy(ish) breakfasts, lunches, and dinners for my family every day.

I have enough time to play hide and seek with my boys before morning nap/quiet time.

I have enough time to read to my boys before bed each night.

I have enough time to do simple holiday celebrations (like pie for Pi Day, leprechaun visits for St. Patrick's day, and egg decorations for Easter).

I have enough time for at-home date nights on Fridays.

I have enough time to go camping with my family and enjoy the beautiful spring weather in Houston.

I have enough time to go scuba diving ( just a pre-certification discovery class) with my husband.

I have enough time to host family for Spring Break and do some fun touristy things with them.

I have enough time to have friends over for dinner and games.

I have enough time for a play date with friends at the park.

I have enough time to pleasure "read" (by listening to audio books on my commute).

I have enough time to occasionally write for pleasure, here on my blog.

I have enough time for scripture study and meditation every morning.

I have enough time for kisses and hugs and snuggles any time my boys need them.

And finally, I have enough time to do homework, go to class, research my term papers, and finish drafting my master's essay.

Life is full, but it is full of good things that I consciously want in my life, and I have enough time for all of these things. It helps to remind myself, because sometimes it's easy to forget and feel like I don't have enough time for anything. I will admit there are a few important-but-not-urgent items I'm saving for a later time (like this summer), but I still have enough time right now for the most important things.

Now I just need to work on convincing myself that we have "enough" money (because seriously, we have more than enough, but it's so so so so easy to never feel like we have enough).

What are the areas in your life where you have to work to realize you have "enough"?


  1. Suzanne
    This having enough time and the frantic pace of modern life is something I've been pondering recently (again). I recently had an epiphany, in regards saying 'no' and that feeling of being overwhelmed. My life is going to continue to be full for the foreseeable future, with 10 children that is a given, it's not a matter of saying no, some just has to be. However amongst the ‘busyness of life’ we can find quiet, a peace. Currently I’m in town daily, ferrying children to various after school activities, I’ve taken to walking in that time period, taking my camera along, listening to podcasts and reading books. Those hours waiting; by the poolside, in the library, walking, waiting in the car I’ve come to treasure, they are the quiet within the busy. They are recharging me, so I have energy to say yes to other things I've been wanting to do such as practicing more hospitality.

    1. Thanks so much for sharing. Your ability to find peace among the craziness of after school activities is incredibly admirable. I hope I can approach that season of my life (coming up rather quickly) in the same way.