I’m not too fond of the excuse “I don’t have time…”. While I’m sympathetic to the fact that most of us are stretched too thin and time is our most precious commodity, I think what erks me about it is that people make time to do the things that are a high priority for them. As someone who strives to get the most out of each and every day – being a good wife, quality time with my kids, a full-time job, cooking dinner every night, the kids’ extracurricular activities, blogging, the dishes, the laundry, etc., etc. – hearing “I don’t have time to do this/that/the other” just kind of hits me wrong. The more accurate statement, in my opinion, is that doing this/that/the other is not a high priority for some, and so it’s an active choice to not devote time to it. And that’s okay. We can’t do it all, but own your choices.
Over the last couple of months, blogging has lagged a bit on my list of priorities. I’m sorely behind. I’ve got recipes and stories to share, but I have been needed more in my other roles and so I haven’t made the time for it. At the end of the each night I face a decision – do I sit down and write, or do I spend time with my husband who is home more now… or go do prep for tomorrow night’s dinner… or pick up a little more around the house… or go to sleep. And more often than not lately, the alternatives have won out. So I have a camera full of food pics, a note pad full of recipes and a brain full of kiddo stories that are just hanging around, waiting until I make the time (or get the energy) to share them.
When I started blogging, I said that I never wanted to do it out of obligation. I never wanted to feel like I had to meet some expectation for how often I post or what I write. I wanted it to be just about me. And I’ve stuck to that. But what I didn’t anticipate was having a never ending supply of material but having the constraints of a mommy schedule and priorities that have made it hard to make the time to share. I want to write about my boys playing tiny tot football and my husband winding up their head coach. I want to write about how I set a goal for myself to cook a home cooked meal on practice nights when I need to have dinner cooked in 20 minutes (which I’ve successfully done the last 6 Tuesdays and Thursdays!). I want to share those recipes to help other busy moms faced with the same weeknight dilemma – and I will, at some point. But the funny thing about time and choices, is that I had the time tonight and chose to write about this instead. So again, no excuses.
And not to get off on too much of a tangent, but perhaps what rubs me wrong isn’t so much about the semantics of the time excuse, but perhaps it excuses period. I think we live in a world where people spend so much time making excuses for themselves and their actions – rejecting ownership – falling victim to their circumstances, that it’s downright annoying. Like so many others, I didn’t come from the storybook childhood, but I had choices. I made choices. Some of them were good and some were bad, but the ones that counted got me to where I am today. No excuses. I continue to lead my life that way. Life is unfair. We don’t all have endless supplies of time or money… and some sort of misfortune falls into all of our laps. But I refuse to go around proclaiming “I don’t have the money to do such and such…” (no, it should be I choose not to spend the money I have on such and such) or “I can’t to do such and such…” (no, it should be I choose not to learn how to do such and such, or darn it, I don’t want to!) or “It’s too hard” or “No one will help me” or “I don’t have time”. It’s all the same really. It’s an easy way out. It stops us from examining the real reasons for our circumstances. It’s a good enough answer that keeps us from our full potential. And it’s something I’m probably guilty of from time to time. But I’ve never let a bit of hypocrisy keep me from speaking my peace, so I won’t stop now. 😉
So think about it the next time you feel an excuse about to roll off your tongue. Be honest with yourself (and others) about your priorities and your reasons. Own it. It will feel good and authentic. I promise.