“I don’t have time!” I exclaimed to my husband for what felt like the 100 thousandth time within the first year of having my son. (OK, honestly, I might have hit that number within the first few months or even weeks.) Seriously, if I had a dollar for every time I let out that pathetic whine, I’d be a rich, rich woman.
But it turns out I’m rich in another way: I finally learned what that phrase really means to me.
It doesn’t mean there aren’t enough hours or minutes in the day (though it can often truly feel that way), but that whatever it is I’m making such claims over simply isn’t a priority for me right there in that moment.
Saying I don’t have time to work out means it’s not a priority for me right now — it’s not something I’m choosing to do at this moment. It doesn’t mean I don’t have the ability to find a spare 30 or even 10 minutes, it means I’m not willing to make it happen — and that’s OK!
Saying I don’t have time to get my work done doesn’t mean I literally don’t have time, it means I’m too tired or too brain dead or I’d simply rather be doing something else with those hours.
Saying I don’t have time to clean the house means I don’t want it to be a priority over playing with my son. If he doesn’t want to “play” doing laundry, I’m not willing to do it right then.
Often times “I don’t have time” can become our go-to excuse. It can certainly feel true at times. But the reality is, if we shift our frame of minds to “that’s not a priority for me right now,” we can not only accomplish so much more, we can also feel good about ourselves and how we spend our days.
The key for me mentally is adding the “right now” part to it. I feel like a fraud and like I’m lying to myself if I say something like “fitness isn’t a priority” because it’s simply not true. The real truth is that it just isn’t a priority right now at that very moment. Not that I’ve given up on it or that it’s not a part of my life anymore.
Things come and go in phases and there’s no more truth to be found in that than when it comes to parenting.
Some days I feel like I’ve truly used up all my hours and my energy. Other days I see I can squeeze in a little bit more, but only if I see it as a priority. Accepting that priorities can change on a daily or monthly basis allows me to feel better about how I’m allocating my time in any given moment.
To tell myself that whatever I think needs to be done isn’t as important as something else, makes me feel confident in the choices I make. The best part is that only I can decide what takes priority. Some days that’s a workout, some days that’s meeting a deadline, and some days it’s simply soaking up the fleeting hours I have with my son before he grows up to be an unruly teenager that wants nothing to do with his mom.More On