Since I thought I would segue from the life I now know to a very different one far away, I divested myself of a lot of processes and commitments. As such, I now have a surplus time budget. I get to selectively reengage the elements I feel are valid uses of time, and deemphasize those I don’t really enjoy. I can do this without being miserly, and I can do so making sure that I leave a margin so I don’t get overwhelmed. In motorcycle safety parlance, this is a “space cushion”. When operating a motorcycle, you need to ensure you maintain a sufficient distance afore and aft of you, to give yourself and fellow motorists time and space to react. This enhances your safety. I’m going to make sure I engineer a space cushion in my schedule.
In addition to making sure I don’t do too much (!), I have to make sure I spend adequate time doing important things. I need to spend time in nature. I need to spend a lot of time with my family, but I also need to occasionally be alone. I need to nurture the relationships I have, and not be afraid of building new ones. I have no excuse- in fact; I have an excellent opportunity to restructure how I allocate my resources. I can make my priorities my priorities.
Yesterday was Sunday. We usually go to church on Saturday evening, and Sunday is our down day. Sometimes we are very intentional about enforcing a “no screens” policy, meaning no tv/social media/etc., but it was a bit legalistic/Pharisaical. This past Sunday, Lindsay and I drank coffee and worked on a really great financial study , then took to the kids to a park in the woods. We played, and I foraged dandelions. We got home and I spent some time playing guitar and working on my blog, while Lindsay made her excellent Tex-Mex style enchiladas. That evening we watched “Call the Midwife”. It was a very restful Sunday. It’s important to me that I am able to spend time doing things like that.
All told, however, there is much work to be done. I need to do a better job of managing some of my responsibilities, taking more of a leadership role in some, and less involvement in others. I need to make sure I’m the spiritual leader of my family. I need to create opportunities to improve my jiu jitsu, whether that’s more mat time, more study and research, or more effective physical conditioning. As our friend Gregg Swanson says: “Every facet, every compartment of your mind is to be programmed by you. If you don’t take your rightful responsibility and program your own mind, the world will do it for you”. I don’t want a mind programmed to believe that being busy is the bee’s knees, and not being anxious is wasting your life. I also don’t want to be a whiny armchair quarterback, screaming at the peoples on the teevee that they’re doing everything wrong, and making excuses for my own lack of inertia. So I’ll be selectively reengaging. It’s like spring cleaning for your brain, and it feels good.
I have some questions for you, and an excellent comment section in which to enter them:
What are your time sucks?
Have you had to/had the opportunity to selectively reengage? What did that look like for you?
What do I have to be mindful of when restructuring?
Am I crazy?
Thanks as always.