Monday, January 16

Time for ...?

How do you use your time?

Last week I was chatting with someone new to our town, who asked 'What do you do with yourself during the week?'. You have to understand that while we live in a lovely little town, with a slower pace of life ... there really isn't all that much going on ... and yet I find myself on the go all day everyday!

Part of that is down to being a mum and running a house. While some people would argue that that's easy and there should be time to so much else as well ... just try it for a few weeks non-stop! I know all you stay-at-home mum's (and dad's) out there are nodding your heads in agreement! And the effort to just 'pop' out and run some errands can become a mammoth undertaking.

The question did make me wonder though ... just how do I spend my time? Yesterday at church we were talking about living for and making the best of every moment, as well as how we use our time. Leaving me to reflect on it even more!!

When we moved to America in September 2009 we had a clean slate with which to choose how to use our time and gifts and while our schedule looked pretty clear at the beginning, you can be sure it soon filled up with the day-to-day necessities as well as other commitments.

I read an article recently that said, in America parents spend an average of 25 minutes quality time with their children a day. Really? Is that it? Only 25 minutes. Even on days when I'm like a whirlwind racing around trying to get a few jobs done my two girls get more of my time than that. Something that reassures me on the busy days and I try hard to make sure it's way more than that on a normal day. Of all the investments I make in my life, one of the most important one's is time and effort with my daughters.

Sometimes I catch myself feeling guilty when I'm rolling on the floor giggling with them, dancing around the living room, making play-doh cakes, having tea parties or one of the other seemingly 'useless' pastimes, especially when there is a never-ending to-do list lurking nearby. The feeling lasts maybe 5, maybe 10 seconds and then I realise just how lucky I am to be enjoying this time and that it is a totally justifiable use of my day!

Everybody seems to use the expression 'I'm so busy' more and more. Yesterday we were challenged to take a week and write down everything we do to see exactly where our time is spent. I think I would be a little reluctant to see just how much time is 'wasted' or not used constructively for myself, my family and for God.

In the last few months I have made more of a loose schedule of what we get up to ... partly because with having two munchkins there are things that HAVE to be done and partly because I want to be free to enjoy the time I have with the girls, both individually and together (or very occasionally off doing my own thing) knowing that there is an allotted slot later to get 'stuff' done. 

Nobody's perfect but spending a little time thinking about it has at least made me more aware again and challenged me to drop a few of the more futile time fillers in my life and be more constructive with what we get up to.

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