Time is an elusive beast — at least, it is in my life. I haven’t written here in weeks. Why? A lack of time. I realized a strange correlation the other day: having a girlfriend means that I have less free time, but because of this relationship I am also energized to do even more… so my list of things I want to do is actually growing while my free-time shrinks. I’m in love, Sydney’s the best thing to happen to me, and I am hardly complaining, let me assure you :).
My issues with the constraint of time are nothing new, of course. For most of my life, I have felt that time was my enemy — an impossible foe I could seemingly never best. If I could eradicate the need to sleep, eat, and poop, how many more productive hours could I add to my day?! It’d be brilliant if I could avoid sleep altogether and only eat for pleasure when I felt like it. What does a normal, ideal weekday look like for me? I wake up at 6am, use the bathroom, shower, eat, head to work for a 10 hour shift, come home, exercise, eat, do something productive, and if I’m doing well I’m in bed between 10-11pm. That’s just broad strokes, too, because I also have to fill in the day with small details like getting gas, brushing my teeth, doing laundry, etc.. My days rarely go like that example, though, I admit. I often have to skip breakfast or use the bathroom at work, and I’m often in bed later than I should be. Why?
I simply run out of time!
What struck me the other day, though, is that we all share the same clock. I’m not stuck in some time-warp which affords me less minutes in a day than everyone else. I share the same 24 hours as Christopher Nolan does or Jim Henson did. These guys have done a lot with their time. I have not. Yet, despite this evident opportunity, I still don’t have enough time to do what I want to do with my days. It’s a big factor in why I create so little. I also struggle to WANT to create a lot of the time, having a difficult time finding value in what I spend so much time and effort on, but I’ve addressed that before. I get distracted, I’m a daydreamer, I move at a casual pace — each one a culprit as to why I run out of time. I can admit that. I TRY to move faster, I really do, but it’s so exhausting and difficult for me to maintain in an ongoing effort. But others do it… so I can too, right?
I am aware that it isn’t possible to do everything we can imagine in one lifetime. I accept this. Still, though, there is so much that I COULD do, but I’m too darn slow and lackadaisical to get even a fraction of these things done. People end up being a very high priority to me, so I will spend time with a friend or talking to someone, even when it means I have less time for personal projects. But that doesn’t answer the riddle in its entirety. How do others succeed in being prolific where I do not? An abundance of discipline and focus? Probably. I am sorely lacking in both departments, and this dearth has been very difficult to overcome — as if I am fighting entirely against my natural grain. I likely am. Yet, what still rings through my mind is the fact that I have the same amount of time as everyone else… and plenty of folks are finding the time to accomplish their goals. And here I am running late to church because I took too long in the bathroom.
I am definitely at a loss for how to proceed, though I continue to try. It seems logical that I first need to have a decent grasp on better control of my daily schedule before I can add in the extraneous creative interests, and that’s what I’ve been working on. This is hardly a how-to post, though, because I still fail at this, too. This blog post isn’t long, but I started it a long time ago… filling the in-between with chatting on Facebook and looking things up online. I can overwhelm myself very easily, simply because I think of so many things at once, but I can also just distract the heck out of myself. It’s how my brain has always worked, flowing around and working at its own pace (which drove my mom and teachers nuts at times), so I have to take that into account… but darn it if I don’t want to get better at this!
The productive folks in the world do different things, like making daily lists and having set schedules, but I have yet to find a suggestion that has really helped other than one very basic concept — just do it. I’m a talker, I always have been. I have great ideas, I can be very encouraging, but I am so rarely a doer. I’m not coming to end of this blog post with any conclusions. This is a struggle, and it has been for an embarrassingly long time… but I am trying.
I am not succeeding in great strides, but I am trying :). I started asking Sydney what her plans were for the day, and telling her mine, in an effort to share some accountability. I told her that I will have pieced together my first puppet by the end of January (and now, of course, I’m telling you). This gal in my life has inspired me to want to do so much more with it… now I just have to figure out how ;).