Time, Time…Ticking Away

 

clock-sig

 

Some people are always whining about not having enough time.

I am one of those people.

Inevitably, I’m subjected to someone telling me, “We all have the same number of hours in a day.” They then tell me I’m choosing to spend these hours not writing or reading or blogging and that, they claim, is my problem.

Uh huh.

Well, I’ve got to say, that really used to tick me off. (Get it? Tick me off? Tick. Tock. That was fun.)

But I guess, if you think about it, they’re right. I am choosing.

What they don’t realize is that the choices some of us make are significant: Write or eat? Read or sleep? Blog or bathe? Respond to post comments or spend time with our children?

While most avid readers would lose a bit of sleep to finish a good book, please… Be kind when someone says they are short on time. Because there are people who actually do have extremely limited free time due to circumstances beyond their control. And their choices aren’t always easy.

There are writers who are choosing between finishing their physical therapy exercises and finishing writing their next chapter. There are unwashed mums (and dads) who are missing out on a game of Monopoly with their kids to read blog posts and respond to comments.

There are meetings and appointments, science fairs and soccer games. There are art shows, recitals, school functions, and award ceremonies. This is in addition to yardwork, cooking, cleaning, laundry…

Sometimes, the choice isn’t between writing and watching TV, it’s between writing and attending their child’s play.

To me, that is not a choice. And for those who don’t understand that, there’s really nothing I can say. (Though I’ll probably still complain about lack of time.) #sorrynotsorry

Usually, I choose my health and my family over reading, writing, blogging, and social media. But not always. I’m ashamed to admit it, but there it is. And I know I’m going to regret it.

Yes. We do all have the same number of hours in a day but not always the same amount of time. In regards to how we spend that time, yes, we have choices. But some choices are easier than others.

 

Do you feel like you don’t have enough time to get things done (reading, writing, social media, blogging, commenting…)? Do you find it easy to make choices about how you spend your time? Are you one of those “we all have the same amount of hours in a day” people? Be honest. We’ll still love you.

 

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43 thoughts on “Time, Time…Ticking Away

  1. I agree, Sarah. There are both responsibilities and choices… and many of those ‘choices’ are between doing what you ‘ought’ to do and being there for someone. People come first… otherwise, who are we writing for?

    Liked by 3 people

  2. There’s a whole lot of truth here. I swing from one end to the other on this too. Sometimes shouting at myself, others just accepting. All I have to remember is I’m human. Good enough, is good enough. There’s no time for perfection.

    Liked by 1 person

    • My One Word for this year is “accept” so I’m going to try for that. You’re right – you are only human. One with work and family responsibilities. Do what you can do without beating yourself up. (Me = Pot / You = Kettle) 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I find that I repeat myself quite often to my friends (who are mostly bachelors or are married with no kids) “I have exactly 2 to 3 hours a day where I can do whatever I want….I’m not The Flash”

    And that’s pretty much what you’ve described here. Between household chores and dinner times, bedtimes, dance recitals, grocery story trips….there just isn’t time to do what I would LIKE to do…

    Yesterday I came home and went straight to the bathroom our kids use and scrubbed the tub because I just couldn’t take looking at how dirty it was anymore..by the time that was done it was dinner time…then bed time right after that…so when I finally settled down at 10pm it’s a decision…

    Do I play a video game? Read? Catch up on WP? go finish my final draft of my book?

    *sigh*

    Most of the time it sucks to have to make choices…but I don’t let myself feel bad for making them. 🙂

    Wonderful post, Sarah

    #mast ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    • Haha! “I’m not The Flash.” Awesome. I guess that’s my point. Some people really do have 2 hours or 5 hours or whatever while others have 7 or 10. We all have different lifestyles, responsibilities, schedules, etc. It’s difficult to explain to people but, thing is, we shouldn’t have to. Not really. We shouldn’t have to explain ourselves. If they want to judge, they will.

      Sometimes the choices do suck. I hate having to choose between reading and showering or writing and eating. My choices often come down to…”when did I eat last?” and “was it Tuesday or Wednesday when I showered?” 😉 Kidding. Sort of.

      No. I’m not going to feel guilty for choosing to help my children or spend time with my family instead of blogging or tweeting. No. Way. But I probably will still complain a bit about lack of time. Carry on, my friend. #mast ❤

      Like

  4. Yes, statistically, we do all have the same amount of time as each other.. which is the same amount of time as Beethoven and Mozart (e.g.) had. So how come they were prolific producers and we’re not? Conflicting interests and responsibilities perhaps, and also possible denial of procrastination.
    Of course we all have various responsibilities which impact our time, but that is our choice. We can focus on a single interest and be extremely productive, with some positive and negative consequences, or we can try and do everything which will achieve perhaps less impressive results… and also consequences.
    There are, without exception, always choices. You can choose to do nothing; choose to do something; choose to split your time between obligations/interests.
    You can choose to methodically identify all possibilities and then prioritize in order to maximize your time, or you can “wing it”!
    What did you actually achieve last month? If nothing really stands out, then I would suggest that you need to make different choices, or reassess your priorities! You would have two obvious options:
    Consider that what you actually did last month was much more important than you initially thought, or acknowledge that you spent a lot of time doing low priority stuff… and choose to change. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hmm… Were Beethoven and Mozart good at time management? 😉 I think part of the answer to why they produced was because of their incredible talent. And perhaps obsessiveness?

      I’m not sure that responsibilities are a choice. I see what you’re saying, I do, but I think we’re getting a bit philosophical instead of practical. I was just saying that, although there are 24 hours in a day, we all have different amounts of free time. That’s not a choice, it’s a fact. Say we have a newborn who needs to be cared for. We are choosing to take care of our newborn. But that’s not really a choice. I know, I know…I understand that, technically, it is but, practically speaking, it’s not a choice. Newborns need caring for.

      I won’t look back to see what I achieved in the past month but that’s just my reluctance. I won’t hang my self-worth on achievements. If I didn’t do anything worthwhile (and I’d have to decide what “worthwhile” is), I’d feel awful and if I did something worthwhile like…say…publish a book or something, I’m not going to feel like a better person.

      But it’s always nice to check in with ourselves to see if we’re producing/enjoying life/whatever it is that makes us check in. In that way, I think you’re right on with reassessing priorities and choosing to change what’s not working. I do like that a lot. 🙂 Cheers!

      Like

      • Hi Sarah – Looking after a newborn is most certainly a choice from a number of directions. Everything comes down to choices and consequences. You chose to either participate in unprotected sex, or you simply chose to have a child. The consequences were relatively predictable. Once the child was born, you chose to be a good nurturing Mom, again with predictable consequences etc. etc. The fact that you have social, legal and maternal obligations as a result does not impact the fact that you still have choices.
        The issue would seem to be a strong desire to do other things, when the consequences of earlier decisions put severe limitations on time so…. make a choice to explore other options.
        Using your newborn example – What time consuming things do you do that could perhaps be delegated? Are there really no “capsules” of time in a typical day that can be used?
        My circumstances (retired) are that I have more things that I want to do than can be done in a typical day. However, one aspect of my aging is that I am wide awake at 5:00am. That presented a wonderful opportunity, and I chose to get up at 5:00am every morning and have a 3 hour start on every day, rather than toss/turn in bed!
        There are still not enough hours in the day, but at least I found a few extra ones! All you can do is study your typical day – accept whatever obligations you have from earlier choices – explore all possibilities to free up some time – be happy with the end result. Remember that mathematics does not lie! If you are awake 16 hours a day, and you have 16 hours of obligations, then you have no additional time available. Celebrate what you have!

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  5. Never enough time, Sarah. For me, it’s an endless pursuit of balance, divvying up the minutes between writerly activities and people. The house-duties don’t get much attention and TV gets ignored, but people are important. Relationships need nurturing or they wither, and the missed moments with growing children are gone. We make choices and do the best we can – and have to find a way to be content with that. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  6. I totally agree, Sarah. No one should be made to feel bad about choosing their children over, well, pretty much anything. Days are short and some people have a lot of responsibilities. The right choice is nearly always to be kind to each other and not judge.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you. 💖 Yes, days and are full of responsibilities. Appointments and meetings and so forth aren’t fun but they must be done. Also… Spending time with or helping my children? These are not choices to me. Those are part of being a parent.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Ha! Yeah, I’m one who is short on time, but I’ve been known to say we all have 24 hours in a day. I’ll always prioritize my family over myself. It’s one of the reasons why I don’t have my second book done yet. Guess we just do what we can.

    Liked by 1 person

    • You’ll get your second book done. I’ve a feeling it’ll be soon. Can’t wait.

      Yup, we do what we can. I know your priority is your family…and you’ll never have to look back and regret missing out on being with them. ❤️

      Like

  8. Great post Sarah, as always, I love your honesty. People do make judgements and it infuriates me when they come out with glib statements like the ‘we all have the same hours in a day’ but that doesn’t help!!! I can’t keep up because I choose to spend time with my husband when he comes home from work in the evening and we have dinner, hopefully too with my youngest who with an upside sleeping pattern, can change a day for me on a dime. The only way for me to keep up with blogging and social media while writing my memoir and running the home, as a mum, wife and carer, would be for me to be on my laptop into the small hours & I can’t do that. I have, however, made the choice to blog over family time at times, when I’ve felt so overwhelmed and stressed and so behind, and I wonder why I’m doing it. It’s crazy. Ahhhhh….but we are human after all, right? ❤

    Liked by 2 people

    • It does not help to say that but I’m not sure the aim in that statement is to help. ? You will never get that time back with your husband and your daughter so your blogging will wait. Your readers will wait. And you will be proud of taking that time to be a beautiful friend, wife, and mother. You make the choices that are right for you (and fit in some self-care while you’re at it, please). Overwhelm and stress… I know these too well. We ARE only human. And we need to remind ourselves that we’re doing the best we can. ❤ And then have a glass of wine. 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  9. We have to choose and prioritise what is we feel is important in the time we have. People who make ill-informed or uninformed judgements, guessing and pontificating on why others do or don’t do x, y or z don’t really deserve a response. No one should ever be made to feel bad because of the choices they have made. We haven’t walked in their shoes. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    • Exactly. We have not walked in their shoes. And things aren’t always as they seem. I’ve posted about that before. Not knowing the full story…

      I do have very little time to myself. And I have to prioritize. People can talk all they want about the hours I have but that doesn’t change the fact those are mostly filled with responsibilities. Thank you. 💖

      Liked by 1 person

  10. I completely relate to this post, Sarah. I’ve tried to reprioritize my time by evaluating my choices and asking whether saying yes to one task/event/person means saying no to another. It has helped me weed out what isn’t fulfilling.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Evaluating your choices is wonderful. I need to look at what I’m saying yes to and what that is taking time away from. Some things, though, are not fulfilling yet need to be done and those leave me with precious little “free” time. But during that is when I can choose only the fulfilling things. Thanks, Rudri.

      Like

  11. Omg yes, that’s me! I am envious of all these people who seem to be doing it all, writing books, blogging several times a day, being social on ALL the social media, reading everyone’s blog posts… why can’t I do that? Or even a small portion of it???

    Liked by 1 person

    • No way. Do not compare. Do not get caught in that trap. (I know from experience it’s easy to do.) Everyone’s life is different. These people you’re talking about have a lot more time than you do and/or make choices on how to spend their time very differently than you. Look at it this way: Blogger A works two jobs and has three kids while Blogger B has no children and is retired. And even then… Blogger A could have tons of support and childcare and Blogger B has a sick family member to look after. We just never know the full story. Hugs. 💖

      Liked by 1 person

  12. North American society can be very judge-y when it comes to time management, can’t it? A few people have tried to dump extra volunteer tasks on me because I have “more time than anyone else”, apparently. I didn’t realize I had more hours in my day than the rest of the world, but okay! Still doesn’t mean I’m going to chair that new committee, though…

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Totally get this! I’m a teacher and work in half term cycles. My house is a hotel where I eat and sleep. Washing gets done mostly by my husband who is also a teacher but has now got a slightly easier timetable. I have to plan in things like seeing family and friends, going to the bank or making a simple phone call in advance. And I still want to blog! *written between marking a mountain of maths books!* teaching time to kids is more of a doddle than managing it at times 😳

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ha! “My house is a hotel…” Sorry, not funny, but I hear you. And the planning of visits and simple, daily activities seems just wrong but we have to do that sometimes. We need to go to the bank and the dentist… Ugh. Then, yes, there’s blogging and writing and reading and things we *want* to do. I get it. Plan some time in there to take care of you, too. 🙂 Now if I will take my own advice…

      Like

  14. Don’t get me started on time. Don’t get me started!

    Yeah, we make choices on how to spend our time. I choose to watch The Bachelor. This is not a healthy choice, but I watch it anyway. Then I complain that I don’t have enough time, although I do manage to have enough time to watch The Bachelor. And I don’t even like the guy.

    That said, I choose to make healthy meals instead of grabbing fast food on the way home, wash my laundry every week, make some effort to clean the box I live in, unwind before bedtime, and see a friend now and then. Those are good uses of my time. But you already pointed that out.

    The question becomes: can I give up The Bachelor and work on my novel instead? Well. The Bachelor does serve its purpose. It’s like a chocolate at the end of the meal. You deserve some kind of reward for chowing down on a kale salad. At the end of a work day, I just want some mental candy. But…I’m only allowing myself that treat (and is it really a treat, I mean c’mon!) after I’ve done some work on my creative project.

    Which means shortening my exercise time.

    Or skipping out of work early. (Did I say that?)

    Liked by 1 person

    • “And I don’t even like the guy.” 😀 Who says it’s not healthy? (I’ve never watched it so I won’t judge.) But you clearly need time to decompress and you are totally allowed to complain about time. So there. I’m still going to complain yet here I am replying to your comment. So there. Again.

      Seriously, I’m sick of the judging. We don’t know other people’s lifestyles or health issues or anything, really, so we can’t say that sitting and playing Angry Birds for 20 minutes isn’t a “good” use of time. They might need that like you need TV. I absolutely LOVE your term: “Mental Candy”. That’s like my “Brain Break”. It’s essential for survival. At least for some people. But then, if you have very little free time, yes, that means giving up some exercising, eating, showering… Like I said, some choices are easier than others.

      P.S. Did you say what? 😉

      Like

  15. I was talking to a friend about new years resolutions and she told me about a wording change that she is using to help her manage her time in 2017. Instead of saying, “I don’t have time for ….. (whatever it is); rephrase it to, “(Whatever it is) is not a priority.” Example, “I don’t have time for Granny,” becomes “Granny is not a priority.” She says it helps her re-gig her schedules and drop any guilt about things left undone or postponed. We all have life outside of writing – I know I do! No apologies necessary. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Whoa. Because, really? That rewording is powerful. If I ever said, “Calling my grandmother is not a priority.” I’d cry and call her right away! 😀 I’m going to rephrase and see how my life transforms. Though I’m kind of afraid of it. My children’s health and well-being are a priority and take a lot of time so I’m afraid, when faced with that wording, of what might *not* be a priority. I guess that’s what I was saying at the end of this post here. Sometimes prioritizing one BIG thing over another BIG thing is brutal. We’ll see. I’m going to try it though. Thanks! ❤

      Liked by 2 people

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