I ran into a friend the other day. She's a working mom of two and pretty impeccable lady. We were discussing the new things the kids are doing, what we're doing, the quick rundown of life's flurried activities.
And then she said, "I told my husband, I just need one more hour in the day."
I nodded fervently. Part of my brain spiraled off, imagining what I would do with a magical 25th hour. Run marathons, write novels, learn languages. Who knows?
She continued, "And he told me that I have the exact same amount of time in each day that Einstein, Gandhi, and George Washington had."
Crap. I'd been hit with a truth bomb.
I can't get it out of my head, though. And since then, I've been thinking about time. How much we have. How much we get. And how we use it.
I found this article entitled, Are You As Busy As You Think? (Already I know the answer, right?)
You should read it. But here are a few excerpts, if you think you don't have time. (Touche.)
We all have the same 168 hours per week -- a number few people contemplate even as they talk about "24-7" with abandon -- but since time passes whether we acknowledge it or not, we seldom think through exactly how we're spending our hours.
Checking Facebook five times a day at six minutes a pop adds up to two-and-a-half hours in a workweek -- curiously, the exact amount of time the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends we exercise.
Instead of saying "I don't have time" try saying "it's not a priority," and see how that feels. Often, that's a perfectly adequate explanation. I have time to iron my sheets, I just don't want to. But other things are harder. Try it: "I'm not going to edit your résumé, sweetie, because it's not a priority." "I don't go to the doctor because my health is not a priority." If these phrases don't sit well, that's the point. Changing our language reminds us that time is a choice. If we don't like how we're spending an hour, we can choose differently.
168 hours a week. Do you know what that makes me think? This is why babies aren't babies for that long. Weeks are whizzing by because they are only 168 hours long. Time to get down on the floor and play cars and dinosaurs. NOW.
Facebook time = exercise time. Do you know what that makes me think? So long, Facebook. You'll be seeing me a lot less. I can't afford you anymore.
Choosing how we spend our time = so simple and so true. And being honest when we explain what we don't "have" or "make" time for? That is powerful stuff.
Here's to clocks, time, honesty, and priorities.