What we make time for
There are only so many hours in a day and we spend most of them sleeping, working, or trying not to fall asleep at work. Though some of us have autonomy in our professional lives, true free time is really relegated to nights and weekends. Unfortunately that’s also the time when we’re supposed to fold laundry, work out, shop for groceries, and clean our homes, which doesn’t leave a lot of time for reading books, dancing, or maintaining friendships.
I wonder if that’s why we’re so obsessed with documenting what we’re doing when we finally break free of our routines. Or why we feel compelled to contrive situations in which to be real because, in reality, we’re usually working, and if we’re not working, we’re too tired to do anything spectacularly fun.
The obvious truth is that we can’t do it all. Not every week. And when most of our time is already spoken for, if we want to add a new ball to our juggling routine, it probably means dropping one that’s already in the air or giving all of them a little less thought and care.
For reasons that probably date back to surviving the prehistoric age, we’re prone to giving up the rewarding to make room for the essential. That which doesn’t feel productive is on the chopping block even if we really enjoy it.
The thing is, you’re not going to remember anything you crossed off your to-do list in a week. And if you let the laundry pile up a little higher and order takeout an extra night, you’re not going to remember that in a month either.
But the things you do make time for, the things that restore you — dinner with an old friend or a class on a beloved topic — will make a difference. There will always be some things that can’t be ignored or put off, but sometimes those have to be the things that are just for you.