“I don’t have time to do that for you.”
“I don’t have time to get that done.”
“I don’t have time to meet for coffee.”
“I don’t have time to play with you.”
How many times have we used those words? As human beings, we (most of us) speak those words on an almost daily basis. We have time for things that strike our fancy or we have time to do the things that bring us pleasure. When it comes to things we really don’t feel like doing, we run out of useable time.
A little bit ago, I was given a book to read and a CD to listen to. When I was asked if I had done so, I spoke the truth, “I did not make time to do so.” Instead of indicating that my life was too busy to read a book or listen to a CD, I gave the facts – I didn’t want to, so I didn’t make the time to.
Let me ask you this: When was the last time you made time for a friend who you haven’t visited with in awhile. Has something truly gotten in your way or are you simply making excuses? Or, is not having the time a great excuse for not wanting to get together with that person? I’ve done it! Recently, in fact! I am as guilty as the next person.
The last two weeks, I had plenty of time to work on the quilt for the school auction. I did not make time to get it done because I was too busy playing and having fun with Mark being in town. It wasn’t about not having time – it was about not making time. As soon as he left town to go back to work for a month, I suddenly found the time to get the quilt done.
My children ask me to play with them and, quite often, the timing is wrong. I’m about to start making dinner or I have to leave to get something done. Sometimes, it’s simply about not wanting to at that moment and I use the excuse of time as a means of getting out of it. What am I teaching them about time, when something else comes before them?
I like to say that I am fashioning myself after the lifestyle of a woman in the 1950s. If that were the case, the home and family would take the biggest chunk of my time; everything else would be secondary.
In reality, I live in 2013. I have a cell phone I check several times an hour. I look at various text messages, emails and I scan Facebook for the recent updates on friends and family (not to mention various things going on around the world). I read one news story shared on Facebook and that leads to another. Soon, I’m reading for 30 minutes about an incident that I would otherwise be unaware of. My time is used up with the “ease” electronics brings to my life. I also read quite a few blogs that come into my email. I do not make the time to respond, but I read them – all of them. More time is spent on this activity than any other.
Where is your time spent? Are you on Facebook all day? Do you post updates on Facebook or Twitter every 30 minutes about what you may or may not be up to? Are you sharing pictures, reposting stories (or cute funny pictures), giving this your time instead of the children (or close friends/husband perhaps) in your life?
Do you see volunteer work as so much more important than spending a few extra minutes sitting with a friend who might need you?
Do you see your job as infinitely more important than taking the time to visit with your children for a little longer?
Are you incorrectly labeling other things in your life more important than what truly matters?
What would happen if, instead of telling my children I don’t have time to play with them at the moment, I simply said, “I don’t feel like making the time to play with you right now.” What do you think would happen to that child’s sense of well-being? When they start to realize they are not important enough to make time for, what would they start to believe? When they see their mother making time to do all sorts of things except spend time with them, what do they learn from that?
Isn’t it the truth, though? Aren’t there several times that we could make time and simply don’t?
Oh, I know that we all get busy – legitimately busy – and don’t have a lot of time! I am not disputing that at all. I know that my children get upset when I am about to start making dinner right at the same time they ask me to make time to play with them. That’s bad timing on their part. However, the fault lies with me. If I made time to play with them prior to having to start dinner, they wouldn’t ask when I am starting dinner.
What about that friend you haven’t visited with in awhile. Are you truly out of time or are you making excuses? Do you see yourself as too busy proving yourself in other areas of your life? There are a couple people I know that appear to have to prove themselves invaluable to others and so, they stop making time to do the things that really matter – children and husbands/wives.
I’m currently reevaluating my priorities. I’m asking all who hear my digital voice to do the same. Check yourselves and see where your time is spent. Is it in the things that matter? Is it in the parts and pieces that won’t mean a hill of beans in a year or ten years?
This is how I see time should be spent (in order of importance):
- Church activities/volunteer work
- Quilting/Reading/Computer Work or Games
I’m sure job should be in there at some point. A job is simply that. You can dedicate your life to it, do the very best job you are capable of. However, you must never put job above family, children, God and spouse. The job can’t see you into your old age. It can’t lead you down the path towards a closer relationship with God. A job can’t give you a better understanding and relationship with your husband/wife or your children as they grow older. A job should not appear on that list – at least not in any of the areas that I’ve listed.
It’s time to start being truthful. If you don’t want to do something, say so. I’ve started telling people, “I didn’t make time to do that.” No more talking about not having time – that’s a crock! If we want to do something, if we want something – we make time.
Where am I going with this? I’m writing down my thoughts. I’m putting perspective to things. I’m taking a good look at my life and trying to make sense of everything. My next post will be even deeper.