This morning I am having to go into work later than normal, due to a doctors appointment which I couldn’t get outside of working hours. Normally this would mean me having a lie in and enjoying an extra bit of sleep. (I’m very fond of sleep!) Or it would mean me waking up early and worrying about the doctors appointment. However, I decided that instead of having a lie in, and instead of sinking myself in worry, I would get up at my normal time and just enjoy a leisurely morning. Best. Decision. Ever.
It might seem strange (I know it does to me) since we have just had a weekend in which there were two lesiurely mornings when I could have done everything I did today, but there is something different about a leisurely morning before you have to go to work. Somehow that time is more precious. It shouldn’t be, but it is.
I was able to get up and do half an hour of yoga (something I always say I’m going to do anyway before I realise that I prefer sleeping). I managed to eat breakfast sitting at the table instead of rushing and standing next to the kitchen sink (a small thing but amazing how much of a difference it makes). I could take my time getting ready for work and even painted my nails!
Even then I had some time left. So I sat and did a little bit of work (funny how productive I felt in the quiet and comfort of my own home) so that my day when I eventually reached work would be well prepared for. I did a little bit of reading and have even managed to write this post for my much-neglected blog.
I ended up with just over 2 hours of ‘free time’ this morning that I don’t normally have and I got so much done. It’s the nicest 2 hours I have spent by myself in a long time. Reaching the end of this time I feel calm, productive, content. I feel a strange sense of achievement. I actually get quite a lot of time to myself; I usually get home from work before my husband and I only work during term time whereas he works full year, so I get a lot of me time during school holidays. It seems, however, that I am not very good at using that time wisely.
It was half term just a week ago. I had a full week to do what I wanted, to rest and recharge and do all the things I always say I wish I had time for. But by the end of that week I didn’t feel rested, I didn’t feel like I’d done the things I wanted to, I didn’t feel like I had spent my time well. Honestly, I felt exhausted. I had somehow spent most of the week rushing and worrying and yet not really doing anything. Then I felt guilty for not doing what I ‘should’ have done. What a waste.
So what is the problem here? I often say that I don’t have time but in reality I do, I’ve just not figured out how to use it in a way that feels fulfilling. The problem is that because I think I don’t have time, when I do get an hour or so I see as ‘free’ I end up spending the whole time worrying about the things I think I should be doing, or trying to decide which or my pastimes I want to fill that time with: Do I want to read? Write? Draw? Dance? I really should go to the gym. Maybe I could do some exercise at home instead? Yoga? Dance workout? But I really should vacuum. Have we got food in for dinner? I need to go to the shop. I should clean the bathroom first…and then that lovely hour I could have had is gone and nothing practical or pleasurable is done.
So I am resolving to stop worrying about how I spend my time, and to remind myself that all the time I have is as precious as this morning’s 2 hours.