Hello friends! It’s been about three weeks since I’ve written and I can honestly say that I have no idea where the time went. Well actually, I DO know where the time went, but it just doesn’t feel like that much time has passed. Do you know the feeling?
Suddenly, you take a step back and seconds, minutes, hours, days just… evaporate. POOF! I remember my parents always saying that as we age, time moves faster and faster. Now I completely understand. The question now is, how do we manage this most beautiful, treasured, valuable “measure of events”?
Spark 5 in Carrie Bloomston’s book, The Little Spark: 30 Ways to Ignite Your Creativity focuses on Time. She says “Ask yourself this question: What am I willing to move out of the way to make room for my joy, ecstasy, and passion?”
Excellent question. For me, time management has always been a bit of a struggle. Not that I haven’t been able to complete tasks and get things done in an efficient manner, but in the sense of my state of mind while doing so. Historically, I have always gotten myself in a bit of a tizzy when approaching deadlines, meeting times, to-do lists, etc. The looming sense of consequence if something wasn’t done “on-time” or even missed, has always been a lofty weight on my shoulders causing anxiety, stress, and an unnecessary tightly-wound me.
And that was before kids! Having children adds an entirely new level of time management woes. Now, I’m managing four lives instead of one and the daily tasks alone can fill up a full 24 hours. I know you know what I mean. So, what happens to our soul-nourishing stuff? Or even the work that we love and want to spend time on? How do we fit in our personal desires, our joys and passions, with family time, work AND the piles of laundry, bills, dust bunnies, and soccer games?
“Forever is composed of nows.” — Emily Dickinson
What WE choose to include into our 24 hours either fills us up, depletes us or leaves us wanting more. Time is really an illusion, different for all of us, composed of our unique succession of “Nows.” It’s figuring out what those “Nows” are; events/people/projects/passions/work that we want to spend our precious time with in order to feel complete and ultimately, happy. A friend of mine quoted from a book about simplification the other day. The author asked “When you think of your childhood, what are your fondest memories? What you were doing then is probably what you should be doing now.” Think about that. Some of my fondest memories revolve around swimming. That day I put on some goggles and swam some laps. Just me. No kids. Just flowing through the water at whatever pace I wanted… floating, breathing, moving. I couldn’t believe how I felt. It was like someone plugged me in… it was like doing something for the first time. This simple question has really got me thinking about what fuels my creative source and what will fuel my kid’s.
So what do I take from all of this? That it’s a process. Discovering your routine, your essentials and your “creative happy places” can take time and focus. That’s why I’m three weeks late on this blog and finishing my post at 11:30pm on a Sunday night. I had some unexpected work come up today, but I NEEDED to make time to write about this. The moment a creative spark hits can be unpredictable and it’s our choice whether or not to follow it.
I also learned a few things on vacation (where I thought I would totally stay on top of the blog!):
– Take vacation and mean it. No obligations or pressure. Really leave it all behind.
– Use social media or photography as a way to notice the little things. I didn’t want to take time to blog, but Instagram kept me looking for moments, images, and interesting subjects I probably wouldn’t have searched for otherwise.
– Only create teasers when a post or project is finished. (See? I’m a couple of days late on this post, geesh.)
– Time away from work is inspiring. Look at everything.
– Spend delicious, rich, deep, juicy, messy time with your family. When it’s time for your personal, creative time, everyone is supportive.
– Listen to your body. React appropriately.
– The Badlands, SD really is one of the coolest places on the planet.