As someone who always needs more motivation to make time for writing, I’m so thankful that Danielle of Sometimes Sweet, has started the Journal Days project. So what is Journal Days? Well, every Sunday Danielle is sharing a prompt and on Thursday will be publishing her reply. Everyone participating is asked to comment on the post with a few lines from their response and a link to their post. I think one of the coolest things about blogging is the community surrounding it – so this is really a win, win for me! Feel free to join along, too! It’s never too late to start. Anyway, enough rambling. On to this week’s prompt…
We all encounter challenges on a daily basis. You may consider yours something small, like having enough time in the day to accomplish everything you set out to do, or it may be a bit bigger- perhaps something you have to overcome mentally or emotionally, or even a struggle when dealing with a difficult person. Whatever the case, take a look at your daily life- what would you say is your biggest challenge? Or if you have a past struggle you were able to overcome, how did you do it? This week, write about a challenge you currently deal with on a day to day basis, or discuss one you managed to get past.
As I thought about this prompt I kept listing out small challenges: Going to the gym regularly, making time to write, spending time reading, being better about calling home, delving into baking, committing to volunteering, etc. And what did all of these things have in common? They are all things that make me happy. And they are also all things that I can’t seem to make time to do on a regular basis.
I know. There’s an easy way to fix this. Stop being lazy and make time for this. But, as I’m sure many of you can relate to, that is easier said than done.
Let me tell you the list of daily priorities: being good at my job, being available for the nomads and staff I manage at all times, keeping my house semi-clean, doing real life grown up stuff, hanging out with Keith, and sleeping. And while that might not seem like anything too crazy, it’s plenty to keep your days full and make those “just for fun” things slide off the radar.
Most people work a 9-5, I do too. I’m not complaining about that at all. I love my job more than I think most people will ever love their job and for that I consider myself so so lucky. But the fact is, no matter how much you love your job, it’s still just one part of your life and there are a lot of other things you’re interested in and passionate about. Yet, those things fall by the wayside because work is the most important. And when I get home I. Am. Tired.
Don’t worry about playing the tiny violin for me yet, though. I know that I could make more time for myself and for the things that make me happy – but the fact is, I just don’t. Why is that?! How can I have a list of things that make me happy and them completely ignore them on a regular basis? I feel crazy for knowing what brings me joy but continuing to ignore it. I can’t be alone in this. Please say I’m not alone in this.
When I tried to figure out what I do this I came up with a few reasons:
First thing that came to mind – this girl is tired. Having a job you’re so passionate about it amazing but it also means you are invested more than you might be in a typical job. I don’t leave work at the office and I don’t ignore emails or calls that happen to come in after 5pm. Also, I don’t have the kind of job where I go in, do my work, and leave. It takes a lot of problem solving, thinking quick, interpersonal communication, and wearing a ton of different hats. So the truth is when I get home I want to relax. I want to sit on my couch, snuggle with my pup, and watch TV.
The next big reason is that I don’t really consider making time for this stuff a priority. I manage to make time for all of my big girl responsibilities. I always pay bills on time, I clean my apartment, I make any necessary appointments, you get the idea. But I don’t consider doing stuff that is good for my soul a priority. I don’t know why. Logically I know I need to do this just as much as I need to do any of those other grown up tasks. For some reason, though, I just don’t put it to practice in my life. If we’re being honest, guys, a lot of times I need other people in my life to remind me to have fun. Thank goodness I’m dating one of the most laid back people I’ve ever met because he forces me to chill out sometimes.
And probably the #1 reason I don’t do any of those things regularly: I just get lazy. It’s easier to watch TV or go to bed or surf the web than it is to do literally any of those things I mentioned. But guess what?! Those things are also not as fulfilling. Those things don’t make you fall asleep knowing you made the most of your day. Those things are fine sometimes, but they have to be the exception, not the rule. You have to be intentional in your life and you have to fight for your time. You have to do it with relationships, at work, and for yourself. Time is a limited resource so you gotta be smart how ya use it!
I’ve already started to make my blog a priority (and thank you guys for reading and commenting, it really does keep me motivated) and I surely plan on making other changes in my life to find time for joy. To slow down, ignore the laundry that needs to get done, and go to the gym or Skype with my dad, or play around in the kitchen, or who knows – maybe discover a new hobby! Someone once told me that if you don’t protect your time, someone else will come in a take it. So guess what I have to do? Guard my mothafuckin’ time.
Friends – I could use your help. How do you find time to do the stuff that makes you happy when life is always just a big crazy mess and it seems like there is never a chance?