I’m delighted to say that I finished my lesson 1 beginner sewing tutorial a few weeks earlier than expected. Needing a gift for a birthday party, I seized an opportunity to make what was the subject of my tutorial, hence, killing two birds with one stone. Although I’m not so fond of the image conjured up by that saying, I like the sentiment that it evokes; any singular effort that accomplishes more than one objective gives double the gratification and often creates available time. My excitement never wanes over feats like this.
In these busy days I don’t consider this available time as saving time, but rather creating time. Saved time implies it will be set aside and used for something special or important, something unusual in a good way. Most of us don’t do that though. We don’t bank it. Instead we spend it immediately, and too often not on something pleasurable. When I saved time, I would immediately consult my to-do list. Surely something very important needed to be done right away. The only thing special was the exhilaration of crossing something off the list. Clean the chicken coop, process endless amounts of veg,
dust house before dinner party; much to my relief, the thrill is gone-that crossing out did nothing for my joy. By making a conscious decision to get off the to-do-list treadmill I am a better wife, mother, and friend because I am a happier person. I still make lists. That is the organizer in me and I really like that quality, it feels right. But I control the list-the list doesn’t pressure me, cause me worry, or always take precedence over time for myself.
Joyce Meyer summed it up well by saying life is mostly Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday, over and over. I agree-homework, housework, yard work, office, dishes, laundry, meetings, carpool-that is the meat of life and it is good. It should be considered highly valued and respected at least for it’s cultural link, but often it is taken for granted and considered mundane. Sprinkled in periodically, like icing sugar on a plain doughnut, are the holidays, the long weekends, celebrations, and retreats that make it a little sweeter. Created time is even better than all that, more simple and wholesome. Soul food. Whether through thought out choices in time management or by a fortunate stroke of serendipity, created time allows for breaks from the routine, available near immediately. It should be considered as a gift to ourselves, an unmissable opportunity, that costs little to nothing and doesn’t require much planning. If you are truly present, as in not thinking about what you must do next or sooner than later, this created time adds so much to the spirit. You’re left feeling calm, in focus, more balanced, and wondering why you don’t do it more often.
Some of my favourites are swims at the beach, painting my fingernails, watching a movie with my children, or reading a chapter or two before taking a cat nap in the afternoon; anything that never makes it the to-do list, but is now necessary for my joie de vivre. If you don’t already do so, give this new perspective a try. You might just find yourself gripped with a joy of living that hitherto had been completely missing from your life.