Making Time for You
by Jessica Turner
Busyness has become a celebrated lifestyle today. If people aren’t busy, we think less of them. This lifestyle of busyness makes it a big shift in perspective for women to acknowledge that they are not too busy for themselves, but that is exactly the shift that needs to happen. Women today must make themselves a priority.
During a lunch date a few years ago, my friend Jenny and I were catching up about the busyness of our lives and balancing family, work, and home responsibilities. She and I are similar in a lot of ways. We both have two young kids and work full time outside the home.
She said to me, “I don’t know how you do it all, Jess. I really don’t. I’d love to know your secret.”
I started asking how she spends her time at home, and she confessed that she is consumed with cleaning and organizing. She said she spent an entire Saturday cleaning cupboards, washing them out, organizing household supplies, and so on.
I laughed and said, “Well, there you go! I would never spend my Saturday that way. Ever. I don’t care if the cleaning supplies are a mess under the sink. I would much rather be taking photos, writing, or doing something fun with my kids.”
I encouraged her to try to let some of that “perfect house” guilt go and make time to just read a book, go for a walk, or do something just for her. I reminded her of an important truth: your kids are never going to remember the condition of your cabinets, but they will remember what their home felt like. They will remember if their mom was always cleaning, or if she was relaxed enough to abandon the dusting to go hang out on the deck. They will remember whether mom was always frustrated by “another mess” or allowed them the joy of playing with a fort left up for days in the living room.
Jenny is like so many people I know who say they are too busy for themselves. I have learned, though, that busyness is not an excuse I can afford to give because making time for my passions matters. So I’ve eradicated the “I’m too busy” excuse from my vernacular—and I want to encourage you to do the same.
You are never too busy to make time for what you love. It’s just a matter of prioritizing—evaluating how you spend your days and dedicating time for what you value. If something is really important to you, you will ﬁnd a way to ﬁt it into your life.
But because life is busy, it can be challenging to make time for our passions. Too often, we have a plethora of options for how to spend our time and yet we pick the item that is not for us. We say yes to volunteering because we think we are supposed to. We make elaborate birthday cakes (when we don’t even like to bake) because Pinterest has made that the norm. And we go to the networking meeting because everyone else does and we worry about what others will think if we don’t go.
This way of living is stiﬂing our joy. It must stop. Time is a sacred gift and should be spent well, doing things that make sense for our family and ourselves. Our days should not be ﬁlled with a litany of pursuits that drain us. Women must shift their perspectives from “I should do this because . . .” to “I want to do this.”
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