During our recent break to Spain, I purposefully took time before and at the start of the holiday to unsubscribe from more of the 1 million and 1 emails I have over the years signed up to (I don’t think I need McFly updates anymore funnily enough) as part of an ongoing declutter/relax/create more mindfulness strategy and a serious think about TIME…what I need from the time I have, and what is serving me in what I do with that time. And what really isn’t, and why.
My high point of concern with time and its value came on in bucket loads, as to be expected, following the birth of our son.
I realised during pregnancy, (due to being in the worst pain I have ever felt from pelvic girdle pain), that social media creates some issues for me as it feels like another job to do. I include messaging in this. Which is complex and a conundrum, because I love it all also, and how it connects me to people. And of course, regarding social media itself, I need it to do the bit of mini marketing for this blog- and how would you be reading this post today otherwise? That though- regarding blog activities may be purposeful as it steps towards personal goals I have, but I mean rather the hours of mindless scrolling and endless chatting in 20 different conversations to dissociate, and the anxiety by doing so that it gave me when the replies ramp in.
As with all mums of small children, I have very limited “me” time. This is heightened by our sons lack of sleep, and the fact he goes to bed so late: 10.30pm/11pm is his norm. So there is no, “putting the baby to sleep” and catching up on activities. He’ll wake up often 30 minutes later, so I have to be close by. And there may be just an hours nap during the day. Sonny has also only just started independently playing, otherwise is very hands on and active. And he absolutely hates it when I use my phone around him and loudly expresses it! Largely, he isn’t a fan of his mummy being anywhere but beside him, which makes general chores problematic. A common occurrence with little ones of course, and being on the phone around him isn’t really something I want to do too much of (without making any judgements of this either as it’s hard sometimes being alone all day with no adults to talk to). He is requiring my attention more but in a different way as he gets older and I want to be fully present, with him and with everyone. In lockdown things were definitely easier to be online/connected…now things are open again and we are out enjoying activities and the better weather (though I laugh as I say this as it’s been on and off torrential weather on and off all week !) time is squeezed yet again. It is like moving house and unpacking it again getting out and back with a child.
In essence, I’m realising how precious time is, with what I want to achieve. There has to be a certain amount of reality checking in this, a certain amount of prioritising, after considering what it really is that is bringing my life value with the very limited time I have. And there is certainly nothing wrong with relaxing and some mindless scrolling after a day with a little one. It’s just, I realise as I come up to 40 next year, that time is more precious and valuable than ever, and how some things I do aren’t making me feel too good and therefore this needs to change. “Nothing changes if nothing changes”, is probably one of my favourite quotes.
In order to focus on some meaningful personal goals, I am:
- Re-visiting a priority list reminding me of my longer term, short term goals that I’d like to achieve to keep focus. I look at/remind myself of this daily.
- Limiting my messaging. Gone are the 20 open conversations, gone is the anxiety driven need to message back straight away (cutting myself slack with a baby, cutting myself slack in general). My anxiety is dissipating and I have more concentration on the situations I am in, and definitely more meaningful time at hand. Plus, catching up with people more infrequently means at times there is more meaningful stuff to share and I simply do not have the time to engage in what I once did.
- Continuing to turn off apps- sometimes at weekends only, sometimes during the week. Whatever I feel I need subject to baby, blog, chores, household business and admin, life, personal goals.
- Giving myself a set time to be on Instagram to promote the blog- doing this in the nap space Sonny has or if he happens to be out with daddy, or nanny on her every few week visits. Replying to messages on my posts is necessary, not social chit chat and promotes engagement, and so I try and keep on top of these.
Before I end , I want to include this exert from Sasha Glasgow of the magnificient Frank and Feel (frankandfeel.com) because it really spoke to me. Hope you enjoy it too.
There is no time.
If there is barely enough time for the good: for joy, for happiness, for purpose; then there is certainly no time for anything that holds you back from these things.
There is no time.
When doubt tried to detract, know that there is no time.
When questioning, overthinking, and endless planning persist; know that there is no time.
It’s not to say that you won’t experience them, but don’t spend too long considering them. They have already taken so much from us.
Time will pass anyway.
And you must ask yourself if you would rather spend it contemplating failure and fear so frequently that you end up living in real-time regret, or moving towards your purpose.
Will you spend your days arranging the vision board, or enacting it? Writing about your dream life, or living it?
It seems simplistic to write, but it is a choice we must make. One we do make through our powerful actions. The wilful distractions we let in. And anything, no matter how it’s dressed up, that leads to quiet inaction.
Choose well, because there is no time.
What does time mean to you?