One of the things that I have been struggling with for awhile now is that I always felt like I never had “enough time,” yet when I looked at what I was spending my time on, most of it was spent on things that I enjoy and was choosing to do. Things like homeschooling, writing on my blog, working on my photography, my volunteer work for VaHomeschoolers, organizing my pictures, making photo books, and reading. These are all things that I like to do, that I want to do.
I am blessed to be home with my boys and not have to “work”, yet I still felt like a workaholic…but instead of outside-the-home work driving me, it was with things that I wanted to do. How ironic is that? Too often it felt that even these “enjoyable” things were draining to me…just another thing on my “to-do list.”
I kept looking for a way to structure my day to “make it work”…I tend to resist schedules since I never manage to keep to them and find them constraining. I thought about trying to add some rhythm to our days, but nothing ever really “took” and again, I seemed to fight it. I knew that I needed to make changes, but exactly what changes alluded me.
Then while reading The Not So Big Life, this passage jumped out at me:
Whenever we engage in a project, we perceive that project as being something out there in the world, something outside ourselves. But when our to-do list is running us instead of serving as a management aid, it’s a flag that we’ve lost sight of the inspiration and vision behind what we are doing.~ Sarah Susanka, The Not So Big Life
I suddenly realized that this was exactly what had happened in my life. My motivation had shifted to “getting things done” rather than to exploring my interests and passions. So even when I am doing something that I enjoy, I feel pressed for time, which means that I am not fully present. I am often worried that I won’t be able to finish what I want to do in the amount of time I have to do it. Which paradoxically enough, leads to me feeling stressed and anxious, even when I am “getting things done.” I can never get “enough” done, because there is always more to add to my list. It is like being on a hamster wheel getting nowhere. No wonder I am exhausted half the time.
This realization was very eye-opening to me. I have started thinking about what do I want to spend my time on? What are my passions? What activities energize and engage me? Why do I never feel as if I have enough time? I know…pretty basic questions, but ones which I am seeing with new eyes.
It is getting late, so I am going to continue this tomorrow (seems I have run out of time!) I am really making an effort lately to not stay up too late. I can see a big difference in my outlook when I get a good nights rest and I truly am a morning person, so it really is better for me to go to bed early and get up early. Again, another basic idea that I have much better appreciation of as I get older.