The sorrow which has no vent in tears may make other organs weep. ~Henry Maudsley
How many times have you heard or said the phrase, “I don’t have time?” I think it is becoming one of the most common statements around today. And I find this very sad. We tell ourselves every day, “I don’t have time to…” No time to be organized, no time to take care of our bodies, our minds, our spirits, no time to grieve.
Well, if you enjoy living from this place of not enough time, I’m about to burst your frenzied bubble.
You do have time.
You just need to decide you have time and be a little creative.
Let me give you a couple of examples for a new way of looking at having enough time:
No time to organize
In graduate school, I was a graduate assistant for a woman who worked in a frenzied, “put out the fire” way. One of my jobs was to set up organizational systems for her office. Every couple of months I’d come up with a new system to clear off the insane mountain of paper on her desk. It would look great and neat for about 3 days. Then the mountain would reappear.
Why? Because my supervisor’s mantra was “I don’t have time to be organized.”
The systems I’d set up required her to take about 5 seconds to put the papers she was working on into the proper tray so I could file them where they belonged. Then she would always know where to find them when she needed them. And, because she decided she didn’t have 5 seconds now, she would end up spending 15 minutes later trying to find a particular paper or file in the mountain on her desk.
No time for self-care
I was a bit of a workaholic in college. I took too many classes, worked too many jobs, committed myself to too many responsibilities. Every hour of my day was basically scheduled. This was great for getting done with college – I finished in 3 1/2 years even having transferred to a new school after my freshman year.
The problem? I neglected to schedule in self-care and time to rest and rejuvenate. My life took on a predictable pattern – during the semester I would work and study and go-go-go like crazy. Then a break would come – winter break, spring break, any break more than a couple days. And I would crash. I’d get slammed with a massive cold and be laid out for days.
No time to grieve
I’ve experienced a lot of grief in my life – loved ones have died, life changes that altered my perception of myself, feeling a loss of security, moving, etc. I decided somewhere a long the line when I was young, that I wasn’t going to take the time to grieve any of those experiences. Life was too short, too busy, and too fast to take time to grieve. So I just pushed it away and went on with my frenetic crazy life.
Eventually, just like all those times in college when I’d have a break, my body protested. Several years ago, I got horribly sick for 4 days. Pain and pressure in my head that knocked me down, vomiting from the pain, curled up on the bathroom floor for days because it hurt too much to move. Once that passed, the pain and pressure remained for almost another 3 years. This forced me to slow down, to reassess and to begin to deal with all the griefs I’d been avoiding.
The common thread…
This is what I’ve learned through these experiences (and many more). When I say I don’t have time for do _________ and I don’t make time to take care of myself (because that’s what each of these come down to), life and my body will take the time whether I want it or not. And my life and my body will take that time whether it’s convenient for me at that time or not.
This idea of taking time to care for myself, to grieve what needs grieving, to nurture myself regularly is something I’ve been working on building into my daily life for the last couple years. This process was terrifying and, I thought, impossible. What I’ve discovered is that taking little bits of time – to organize, to grieve, to nurture myself – in my day to day life seriously cut down on the amount of time I need to heal in the long term when I finally broke down anyway. Long term I end up with more time because I take a little time now.
So, here’s the question I want to pose to you – if you don’t have 15 minutes today to organize, to grieve, to nurture yourself, do you have days, weeks or months down the road when your body or organizational system breaks down?