Tuesday, May 4, 2010

hours in the day

I have been considering this lately: If only there were more hours in a day, more days in the week, I could do everything I want to do.

I've been thinking about the roles we take on, what defines us, setting and meeting goals, all while time slips by us. Sometimes I think that I take on too much, that I have too many interests and commit myself to too many things. I find I take on so many things that I never end up being great at any of them. At other times I feel like I do not do enough, that I'm not making an impact on the world, that I'm selfish with my time and should be doing more for others.

If I had more time in the day I could
call my brothers more often.
be a better runner.
have a cleaner house.
be a better wife.
master yoga.
sew some things.
write more letters.
return phone calls.
take better photographs.
spend more time working and become better at my job.
volunteer more time to more organizations.
finally get some words printed.
finish the dozen or so paintings in my head.
be a better friend.
read more books.
make more art.
see my parents more often.
read the newspaper.
learn to knit.

But there will never be more time in the day. Instead I'm stuck with this 24 hours and have to make the most of it. My focus has been on pausing and really thinking about what's most important to me. Slowly I'm trying to figure out the best way to fit
everything I want to do and be in a day. I started by writing down my perfect day from start to finish. I posted the list in my office and each morning I sit down and look at it. Most days I fail to do everything. Sometimes I manage to fit everything in. Either way, it's helped me refocus my time on what I care most about. Until I wrote everything down I failed to see how many hours I was wasting on Bravo each night or how I complained about not getting any letters in the mail, but realized I hadn't written any myself.

If you're pressed for time and want to get to the heart of the matter, I recommend writing it down. I also recommend finishing your day by asking yourself the following questions:
Today, what did I do for
my mind?
my body?
my spirit?
my relationships?
my creativity and passion?

Spring always feel like a time of rebirth and for me it is a moment to reflect and refocus, a slate wiped clean for the months ahead.


Rachel said...

How fitting that this is your most recent post. I was up half the night worrying about these exact things. It is so hard to find that balance between feeling like you are taking on too much and not truly giving yourself to any of it and feeling like you aren't really making yourself happy or making a mark in this world.

Amy said...

Last summer I found myself wishing for more time on a daily basis. As an experiment my partner in crime and I cancelled the tv. With no comcast and no antennae we have no access. Now, I haven't managed to complete all of the things on my mental "If I had more time..." list, but it really helped me to focus on the value of every minute, and I wasn't even a big tv watcher. It was an experiment that's turned into a lifestyle choice. But just saying no to tv won't solve it all, (facebook anyone?) time is always being wasted someway somehow. Thanks for posting this at such a great time for me as well. I need to actually write out my own list!

Marion said...

I feel the same way about Spring: full of hope and new beginnings. (Your bulletin board is so neat. I have that John Lennon picture on a tee-shirt!) I love this quote and try to use it as a goal daily although I don't always succeed:

"There is an Indian proverb that says that everyone is a house with four rooms, a physical, a mental, an emotional, and a spiritual . Most of us tend to live in one room most of the time but unless we go into every room every day, even if only to keep it aired, we are not a complete person." — Rumer Godden


Bemo said...

Kind of wish there was a pic of me on that board... :-(

Myndi said...

I've been meaning to reply to these for awhile now. Sorry for the delay!

Rachel, I am so glad I'm not alone! It makes me feel so much better to know you deal with the same conflict.

Amy, it's so funny you mention going without television. We've been considering the same thing (especially after watching the No Impact Man documentary)! Thanks for the advice!

Marion, love the quote! It might need to go on the board.

Bretty, we'll have to take more photos when we're home this weekend.