How Wasting My Time Is Saving My Life
So far so good, 2014 is turning out to be an audacious year already with just one month down. The baggage I left behind seems to be staying there. The one I am feeling most freedom from is [Being too rigid with my time].
I, like so many of us, have been taught not to waste time, to use each moment to its fullest.
Well, I still believe that I should use each moment to its fullest, but my definition of wasting time has surely changed.
When I was younger, just beginning a professional career as an accountant and then a few years later beginning a family, I tried my hardest to stay organized, to keep up with correct social etiquette, to do all the things that I thought I was supposed to do as a career professional and a home manager. With so little time to accomplish so much, I studied books on time management, how to save steps and accomplish the most within the smallest amount of time. My focus was on getting things done. And when I didn’t, I really felt like a failure. I still remember the sadness I felt when I just didn’t get Christmas cards sent out one year. (Yea, maybe my priorities were a little askew.) Can anyone relate here?
Something has shifted inside of me recently.
Instead of saving steps, finding the most efficient path in accomplishing (fill in the blank) __________, I have begun wasting steps and time drastically. Instead of making the fewest steps to accomplish the most, I simply quit caring.
I have had a deep urge to move more for a long time, but old habits die hard, eh? Last May, I purchased a Fitbit Zip which encouraged me to increase my steps to a goal of 10,000 each day. This little device made me aware of my patterns of chair sitting, planting myself in front of the computer, and my amount of inactivity. The push from the Zip gave me the drive to get up and move more. I even began to enjoy running. (This is kind of a miracle.)
With a whole summer of movement, I became a bit nervous with winter approaching. I have an aversion to the cold and would seriously just like to hibernate. How would I maintain my new-found mobility when I find the out of doors too abrasive? Well, I’ve just bundled up and gotten out there as much as possible despite the temperature and I am surviving, no, I’m thriving. And as I’ve been walking all over this city, I recently had an aha moment.
I’m wasting steps and time, I’m being inefficient, and I am finally living!
Instead of worrying about what I could be accomplishing during a time frame, I am just living in that moment. While I am still a fan of goal and priority setting, I am no longer micromanaging my time and movement. The strict blocks of time set on my calendar have been deleted. And so is the pressure to git ‘er done.
And while this may seems counter intuitive to accomplishing my goals, I am actually finding myself brimming with inspiration, dreams and drive to get things done.
The more I waste my time living life, the more time seems to grow.
I am finding that I am able to do all that is most important to me within the day, even with a little nap thrown in. I am doing the opposite of all those time management books and getting more done.
This is a growth thing for me. Something had to break free inside me for this to happen. My true self had to emerge from behind all the labels that I accepted as self.
This is also forcing me gently to truly prioritize the essentials of my life. Why am I here? What am I to do with this day? I am finding it easy to determine what I say YES to, and what gets a NO.
This is allowing me to accomplish my goals with room and space, not forcing a self-imposed, unreasonable time period just because it’s possible.
And now our dreams are coming true.
Last post I mentioned a possible space happening for my husband and I. Seems all is going well and looking good. I don’t want to announce any hurrah’s until all is said and done, but we are smiling today. And the most wonderful thing is that I am not stressing about the time frame in which things need to happen, about the most efficient way to accomplish all that lies ahead, or about being able to live up to ‘the dream.’ Instead, I’m walking to the coffee shop to enjoy time with a friend, dreaming and planning step after step on these city streets.
Would you like to join me in wasting your time?
Just start walking. And letting go. The whole process takes time, seasons, shifts, and the desire for freedom. Watch for beauty with every step. Take companions when you can whether they be human or canine.