Friday, July 2, 2010
The hands of time
When Jason and I were younger (early twenties) and students, and even to some degree when we were first married, we were rather poor. Broke was our natural state of affairs. But there was one area that we always scored big on - time. Even when we had no money, we had lots of time.
As we have got older, more established the situation has reversed itself. We are no longer broke all the time. We have good jobs. We save money. Blah-blah. And we have no time. For the first time in our lives we have money to have a couple of holiday breaks a year and have no leave to take them. What a turn of events.
On a day to day, minute to minute level, my life is governed by the clock. I wake up at 6am. Rush to the shower, get dressed (must be done by 6:20), wake kids, feed kids, feed myself, pack bags, dress kids and get out of the door by 7:15. I race through traffic and get to work for my usual crazy work day. Normally my day is consumed by meetings as a senior manager, some of which involve driving to one of my regional offices. I watch the clock, racing from one to the next. In between i am working frantically behind my laptop. Checking email, allocating work, delegating tasks, checking on delegated tasks not done. I hate my cell phone and the time that it takes away from me. There is always the voice waiting to tell me that i have "10 new voice messages!" AARGGHHH!
Then at 4 i race off again to start my second job. Racing home wondering what is for supper. Buying said supper. Picking up kids. Making supper, feeding kids, bathing kids. Of course i need to put in my quality time with hubby and kids. So invariably it is 8pm when i am actually able to STOP and breathe. And then i sit and think about all the things i was supposed to do. What a crazy life.
So time is my most valuable possession at this point. I cant make more of it. I guard it jealously. I dont like to share it with people that are not important to me. What i have i want to spend with my husband, my children, my friends and family that count. I meet people and think that they may be interesting to start a new friendship with but instantly think "I dont even spend enough time with the friends that i already have and that mean so very much to me!"
It is not all as hopeless as it sounds. Sure i wish that i was able to make more time but i cant. I am now so aware of what i can use each second for. I am simplifying my life. I dont get caught up in little dramas. I let things go because my energy is limited and i cant waste it on others.
I still find time for myself in terms of going to gym and doing my crafts. I am often amused when people say: "How do you still find time to craft?". I find time because being creative keeps me sane. You have to get off the wheel sometimes.
And finally i am learning that it is okay, healthy to have some space away from your children. I love 8pm when my children go to sleep and guard that rule diligently. I do think the routine does them good, but it also does me good. I need to know that there is a light at the end of a busy day and that soon they will be sleeping and i can relax. It pushes me to spend quality time with them from 6 to 8pm because i know that at 8pm they will be down and i can have my space.
But despite all of this, there are many days when i wish that i could make just a little bit more time. Or go back to my pre-motherhood 20 year old self and tell her to take more sunday afternoon naps and enjoy being alone.