having time v making time.

this concept came up in a conversation with little brother alex at some point last year, and it’s been rattling around in my brain ever since. last year provided lots of opportunities for introspection and deep thinking, and it especially gave me the chance to think about how i spend my time.

too often we pride ourselves on being busy. but why? there’s nothing cute or attractive about always being busy and on-the-go. there’s no prize for being busier than someone else. but somehow we have convinced ourselves that we must fill our time or else we’re not living life “right”.

and then 2020 happened and threw us all off our game. i went from being scheduled 4 or 5 nights a week to suddenly having hours and hours staring me in the face. gone were the grizzlies games and the orpheum shows and the festivals and the dinners with friends and the work events and all the things, and suddenly my nights and weekends loomed in front of me.

i have spent a lot of time in the last year figuring out how i can be more intentional with my time and learning which activities – and yes, which people – energize me and which ones drain me. during a webinar last year on efficient systems for productivity, aja reminded us that we all have the same 24 hours in a day, but we all use that time differently. she encouraged us to break down our daily activities to stop using the excuse of not having enough time to do things but rather to figure out if we were willing to make time for those things.

not long after that alex and i were talking about the same thing and really dug deep into why we make time for certain things and why we don’t. when we say we don’t have time for something, what is it about that something that doesn’t appeal to us and therefore makes us hesitant to do it? what is it about the things we do regularly that keeps us coming back? and why do we have such a hard time admitting when we don’t want to make time for something?

these questions have become especially important for me in the last month since i left my job. i am searching for my next job opportunity, yes, but part of this time is also for me to do things for myself that i have been putting off. going through my stack of magazines. reading on my porch. catching up with friends, both virtually and in person. watching tv shows and movies and sporting events. clearing out my house in preparation for an eventual move. i didn’t realize how much i needed this time for myself, and i am doing my best to balance the job search with the self-care; it’s a definite work in progress, but i am feeling very good with how things are going at the moment.

here’s to making more time for the things that bring us joy.


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