Have you ever stopped to think about time? Like, really think about it? Not in the sense of 'I need to be here by this time' or 'I have this many minutes to do this' but in the sense of how it passes us by, how hours turn to days and days to weeks and weeks to months, months to years.
Time is a funny thing. It seems like nothing ever changes.
Every day, we go through the same routine: Wake up, go to work, come home, eat dinner, go to bed, rinse and repeat. Some days are a little different. There is a date or a concert or dinner with friends, something a little out of the ordinary. But overall, it feels like each day is the same as the one before it and the one after.
But if you take the time to stop and reflect, everything has changed.
What you are doing today is likely not the same thing you were doing exactly one year ago. Maybe one of those dates ended up being the love of your life. Or maybe you're at a new job or living in a different city. No matter how similar everything is, everything truly has changed.
Because that's what time does. It passes by, changes. We just don't take the time to notice.
I've been thinking about time a lot lately.
Friday marked the first anniversary of my Papa's death. In the year that's followed, each day has been a lot of the same - I've woken up, gone to work, come home and done it all over again the next day. I've even grumbled about how everything is the same, day in and day out.
But nothing is the same.
Papa isn't here for me to call whenever I feel like it. I've taken a new job, moved to a different state. Even this blog, the same blog I write every day, has changed.
I'm notorious about trying to control time. I'm always planning what time I need to be somewhere, how many minutes I can allocate for each task on my work plate. I come home and tell myself 'you have 30 minutes for dinner. Then you need to work on blogs for the next hour and then you should take about 30 minutes to tidy up and then...'
I really hate living like that.
Making a schedule and sticking to it gives me structure, but it also gives me anxiety. While it's helpful in the office to manage projects and profitability, scheduling out my Sunday - 'be at Mama's by this time, stay this long, go to Grandma's by this time, stay this long...' - only results in me being anxious and watching the clock instead of enjoying a Sunday afternoon with my family.
I've decided to make a conscious effort to let go of my need to plan every single day down to the minute and try living in the moment more often.
Saturday, I had a plan. I had errands and shopping to do. I planned to be home by 3:00 and then had the afternoon broke into times to do things like clean, read, write.
Shopping was easier than expected - I found my dress, shoes and accessories in record time - and so I was home by 1:00 which meant I was able to restructure my self-imposed schedule to wrap things up even earlier and enjoy a plan-free evening.
Instead, my Granny came to visit for a while. Then we went out to dinner and done a little (more) shopping. It turned out to be one of the best Saturdays I've had in a while. I let go of my schedule and enjoyed my time with Granny, which, in turn, made missing Papa a little easier.
I've gotten worse as I've gotten older with this whole planning thing. I want to nip it in the bud now, before I have a husband and children. I don't want to be that mother and wife who is so busy planning out school pickups and homework time and dinner menus that I miss enjoying the precious moments - laughter from the backyard swing set, dancing in the kitchen, snuggling on the couch instead of doing laundry... That stuff is so much more important than sticking to a time table.
Time isn't an endless commodity. We don't have it to spare. God gives us what he wants us to have and its up to us to make the most of it, to appreciate what's given.
Time management doesn't necessarily mean planning your day down to the minute. It means realizing the times that matter.
Happy Monday, y'all!