Who has time to floss their teeth every day? Let alone use their electronic toothbrush for the allotted 2 minutes? And, honestly, who has the luxury of so much time that they actually remember to use sunscreen every day? Choosing to spend all that time with frivolous things?
And is there anyone out there – except maybe the rich and famous Housewives – who sits down to lunch every single day instead of grabbing a bite at their desk?
When it comes to time, I am all about efficiency. I can shower, put on make-up and dress in under thirty minutes. And while I love sitting down to dinner in the evenings and savoring a good meal (and a glass of wine), I am a little more haphazard when it comes to breakfast and lunch.
I’ve been playing with my word “custodian,” and the challenge to be a better custodian to my body has vexed (and irritated) me, because HONESTLY, who has time for all the extra nonsense of primping and such all the time?
This winter has been brutal on my skin, and I was bemoaning the fact (in my head) that it would just take too long to properly slather lotion after EVERY shower. And then, the wisecracking voice in my head said “REALLY? You don’t have time to take care of your skin? Who are you trying to kid, here, Debra?”
So, I marched my butt upstairs, hopped in the shower, and began my regular routine process of getting ready. But after I got out of the shower, I looked at the clock and began doing all of the things I have been telling myself I don’t have time to do each day. I not only brushed my teeth, but I flossed, used the electronic toothbrush for the allotted time, and rinsed with Listerine. Then, I proceeded to actually put lotion all over my body, not just a quick swipe on my arms. And instead of just putting on a little moisturizer, I put on the serum I bought ages ago under my moisturizer.
Then, I looked at the clock and saw that I had “wasted” an entire 8 ½ minutes doing all that “stuff” I didn’t have time to do every day.
And that wisecracking voice in my head began to tease me into the humorous truth. It wasn’t that I didn’t have time for these things, I was choosing to not make time for them.
The truth was, I felt so much better after those 8 ½ minutes – and it wasn’t just my body that felt more tended, but my soul felt heard.
Ah, there’s the rub of our “busy” society. We tell ourselves we want to achieve a dream, take better care of ourselves, connect more deeply with others, or any myriad of things, but don’t know how to make time to do them. We are so focused on needing to hustle so that we look busy enough to be worthy that we’re ignoring our soul’s cries.
Though I had a good laugh about the 8 ½ minutes with JB when I came back downstairs that day, that period of less than a quarter of an hour caused me to get curious with myself about desire, time, and choice.
I am fast approaching another birthday. One that is much closer to the big FIVE-O than it was a year ago. If I’m to enjoy many birthdays in the years ahead, it’s up to me to care for this body I’ve been carrying my soul around in. And, if I can’t spare a measly 8 ½ minutes a day to properly care for it, then why am I even bothering to do things like gain more wisdom by reading and nurture my soul?
I tell you this story because I know that like me, you are always telling yourself that you don’t have time for pursing your dreams or caring for yourself or getting enough sleep or cooking decent meals. You constantly berate yourself if you are “relaxing” because you should be “busy.”
The idle hands are the devil’s playthings and all that jazz.
It’s time, however, to remind ourselves that in a lot of these instances, it isn’t that we don’t have time, we are choosing to tell ourselves that we don’t have time and we are choosing to not make the time.
Choosing to make time to pursue your desires will mean that you will likely have to let some things go. Maybe it’s stepping down from a committee. Maybe it’s learning that “NO” is a complete sentence. Maybe it’s choosing to not peruse Facebook in the evenings.
And maybe it’s forcing ourselves to make the harder choices. Like disengaging from draining relationships so that we can focus on nourishing ones. Or maybe it’s finally letting go of that story we’ve been fondling for years about how poorly we’ve been treated. It’s choosing to let go of worrying about what your Mom thinks and what your competition is doing.
All so that you can make space – and choose to make the time – for the things that matter.
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