“Time is a created thing. To say, ‘I don’t have time’ is like saying, ‘I don’t want to’.” – Lao Tzu
Every day, I’m becoming more & more comfortable with the message behind this quote, but there was definitely a time (a long time) when it would have made me uncomfortable… Now I can see that we have a choice in how we want to use the time that we have each day, & if we stop to reflect on the things that we say we don’t have time for, & the real reasons why we are saying we don’t, then it can really help with our mindset.
In the times that I’ve found myself wanting to say, ‘I don’t or didn’t have time to do that’ (ie. to clean or to do something for me), I’ve realised that it’s not that I didn’t have time, it’s just that I made something else more of a priority. It can be quite confronting or uncomfortable when we really look at why we say we don’t have time for something, & when we own up to the real reasons, but it can be so freeing when we do.
For me, I used to say, ‘I don’t have time for my Pilates exercises, how am I going to find the time to do them?’, & then I changed my mindset, & with the same time available to me, I made the time to do the exercises everyday. Another example for me, is meal planning. In the past, I would have said, ‘I don’t have time to meal plan’, but when I really looked at why I didn’t, I accepted that it’s not a strength of mine, & therefore I don’t make it a priority, & owning up to that & saying, ‘I’m not great at meal planning, & I’d rather spend my time doing something else instead’ feels good. Also acknowledging that we don’t have to be good at everything also feels good!
So often I am discovering that I say, ‘I don’t have time’ because that is so much easier & more comfortable than, ‘this is what I need’, or ‘can you help me?’, or ‘I actually don’t want to do that’.
How often do we say, ‘I don’t have time to do something for me’, when the reality can be that we just don’t feel we can ask someone to watch the kids so that we can do something for ourselves, or we are uncomfortable asking for help, or we’ve prioritised so many other things (including our families desires) over our own needs & desires?
In my experience, it’s not something that happens over night, especially if you’re used to saying it quite a bit (& I know with 3 young kids & a busy house it was my go to response), but I’m finding that more & more I’m owning up & being honest in my communication with myself & others, & taking responsibility for how I spend my time, & in doing so, I am enjoying the benefits.
Just this past weekend, I made the choice to ask my hubby to look after the kids so that I could spend a morning receiving some much needed energy work from my beautiful friend Fran (who I asked to book some time with), & then to spend an afternoon at a beautiful workshop run by Estelle @themummahub (oh & I got a quick trim in between!). Knowing that I had this wonderful weekend because I made myself a priority & made time for me, not only feels good, but also empowers me to do it again & again!
How does this quote make you feel? How often do you say you don’t have time for something?