"I don't have time." That's a lie; okay, maybe it's not a lie, if you understand the lingo. When I hear those words, they mean, "I don't want to," which is fine, but why don't we say it?
I'm again reminded of an acquaintance who said, "Take care of the luxuries and the necessities will take care of themselves." (See my previous blog, "Maintenance," December 2, 2009.) That can work with money if you're not too poor. It can also work with time.
A colleague reminded me last week that I'm blessed. I know it. I sometimes feel bad about it. If I were superstitious I'd hesitate to say it, "knock on wood," fearful that blessedness would end. I hope you, reader, feel blessed. Anyway, I'm blessed in many ways. The colleague was referring to my having a life partner who props me up and cheers me on. I'm also blessed in having habits I love.
For example, I love to run. Many folks don't understand this. They see running as work, as exercise, as something to be endured because it's "good" for you. How could something like running be fun? Well, for me, it is. I've enjoyed the book Born to Run (thank you, Mary and Phil) because it's full of other people who love to run.
I understand why others don't love it as I do. That's okay unless it means they (you?) don't do other things they love to do, because that would be sad. "I don't have time" doesn't cut it. Make time, please. I've heard it only takes 6-8 weeks to develop a habit. If you do something every day for 6-8 weeks, it'll become a habit. If you choose something you already love to do, but have been ignoring, it'll easily become a habit unless you fall out of love with it. If you choose something because it's good for you, maybe you'll learn to love it. If not, maybe you'll learn to love something it does for you or something it enables you to do. Or maybe you'll move on to something else and love it instead.
Our dogs just interrupted me. First, Rosie rose from a nap and put her head on my knee. Then, Lex legged into the room, gazed at me with longing and let out a whine. What did they want? Dinnertime. When I say, "Lex and Rosie, how about a run?" Rosie runs in circles and Lex lopes to the door. When people feel enthusiastic like these dogs, we know we're on the right track.
Instead, we're often martyrs. "I've got to go to work." "The kitchen's a mess." "Look at that pile of laundry." Yes, maybe we do have to go to work, but don't forget we might be able to get up earlier or stay up later. Better yet, we can prioritize. We supposedly are the highest level of beings (although sometimes I have my doubts), so we can think things through. Just like preparing a budget for our money, we can budget our time. All we have to do is pay attention to what we do and begin sifting through our time-wasters and dilly-dallying. Take laundry, for example. I've never understood why that's an issue. Stick a load in the washer. Go do something else, preferably something you want to do. Later, move the load to the dryer or clothesline. What's it take -- a few seconds or five minutes? Fold it while you talk to a friend or watch television. There, laundry done, almost secretly, unnoticed.
"That's too simple," says Virginia.
"You think so?" I say.
"Cleaning house takes all day," says Virginia.
"Really?" I say. "I once knew a woman who cleaned her house every day when she got home from work. 'Why don't you hire a cleaning service?' I wanted to say, before I realized cleaning to her was like running to me."
2 weeks ago