I promise, you have the time.
Now, let’s just try to find it…
There was an interesting shift in the main stream media starting in the 50’s, where advertisers started
yelling at us telling us that we “don’t have enough time”. This concept, directly mostly at women, is rampant now, in every form of advertising and social media. And sometimes it feels true – it feels like we don’t have “the time”. How can we cook and raise babies and work and subvert the patriarchy and pluck eye brows and feed dogs and attempt some futile Pinterest project… when we have such a little amount of time in the day.
It feels like there’s too much to do. Until you really dissect what you spend some of your time actually doing.
Interestingly enough, we do have “the time”. The time meaning, OUR time. We own our time and get to chose (mostly) how to spend it. It doesn’t just pop up out of no where though, we have to cultivate it. Coax it into our daily schedule and then grab a hold of it like a wild, bucking bronco!
In Michael Pollan’s latest series, Cooked, he talks about this very topic:
It’s true, we’re way too busy, and working longer and longer hours. But consider that, in the last decade or so, we’ve all found two hours a day to be on line outside of work. So where did we get THAT time? The day is still only 24 hours long. The point is, we always find time for the things we value—and we’ve come to devalue cooking. My premise is that that was a big mistake—one that was abetted by food corporations and marketers eager to cook for us—and when you realize all that not-cooking is costing us and our families, you’ll be apt to carve out a little more time for it. And when you realize how pleasurable it can be, approached in the right spirit, you might just begin to devote some of your leisure to it. This is what happened to me. I came to think that, by letting corporations cook for us, we have been robbed of one of the greatest satisfactions in life. Let’s take it back!
So I guess the question is, how to do we cultivate our time? All I know is what I experience, and for me, reclaiming small moments everyday, ends up giving back a lot of value. For example, I try to do a quick 30 or 60 minutes of yoga right before dinner. To get that time, I forgo other tasks I used to do after work and before dinner – like clean the house, checking my Instagram, or talking on the phone. Instead, I turn my devices off and hide away – soften times forcing myself to move through a yoga practice. “Force” and “yoga” usually do not (or should not) go together, but hey, fake it till you make it. With a small amount of discipline and time, you get used to a new habit of finding time to recenter. You crave it. It somehow fits into your day. Your schedule will e x p a n d to allow for your new yoga habit – or daily walk, or sex, or sipping tea in the garden, etc.
We make time for the things that are important to us. Or, we accidentally allow bullshit to fill our days.
Take bathing for example – not showering, but taking a bath. Instead of using a face mask or coloring my hair or painting my nails or applying a hair mask or the number of other bathroom-related projects that can consume an hour, I opt to take a bath. I use bath tea (which take 5 seconds to pour in the bath), then the process is done. I lay in hot water and relax.
Sometimes I’m fucking bored. Other times the half hour (or longer) flies by. Either way, I’ve allowed time for myself, and that always feels like a win.
I invite you to ponder claiming your time back. Are there one or two things you do during the day that can wait until tomorrow? Are there things you fill your time with that may not serve you any longer?