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The Gift of Time

I often hear people talk about the gift of time. I feel like this idea is kind of a joke. During 2020, I had more time on my hands since before I had kids, but it’s obvious I didn’t always use it wisely. Maybe the gift of time should come with a kicker of focus. Then perhaps I’d be able to get my ass in gear and knock at least one of my ongoing projects out.

Over my holiday break, I used the gift of time to do nothing. I decided not to work on purpose and not stress out about fitting all my tasks into a mere 24 hours. Yes, I have been writing here and there, but I am a writer, and that’s what writers do. Writing is not always a form of work; it’s also my passion.

Over the past three weeks, I have done my best to embrace a lack of routine in several ways. I stopped setting an alarm clock. I’m an adult, and let’s face it, I don’t really need one. I’m not going to sleep past 7AM anyway. I watched more TV in the past three weeks than in the past six months. I shocked myself and my husband on numerous occasions by binge-watching countless Bridgerton and Virgin River episodes by overruling my 10:30PM bedtime. I have clearly overindulged in too much holiday spirit and have required at least two strong coffees each morning because I wake-up feeling foggy and slack. Besides holiday meals, I haven’t planned what I’m cooking for dinner until the last minute. And haven’t felt the need to have my kids in bed at a reasonable hour. The latter faux pas is going to royally bite me in the ass on Monday morning.

I fear my entire family and I have become a bit feral over the past few weeks, even though it’s been fun… I know this seasonal shift is coming to a natural close, and I must begin to use the gift of time more responsibly. I must not ring in each new day with another episode of Anne with an E but retrain my body to act like an adult and wake up five minutes before the alarm goes off. The kids need to start showering regularly and get the recommended amount of sleep for growing kids.

When my family goes back to their daily routines, I will be gifted a special kind of time – alone time. For how long, I’m not sure (fuck you very much, Covid). Either way, I plan to savor each moment. It really means I will do all the crap I usually do without any noise or human distraction. But it will also be time to put my ass back in the saddle and start ticking off the tasks I set before me last year. Yes, some of these items were long term projects, but there is no better time than now to finally show up for me. If 2020 was your ultimate year of productivity, good on you. It was not for me, and I am okay with it, but I’m not willing to be a repeat offender.

I frequently feel like I don’t have enough time – which is a lie. There is plenty of time. I just don’t maximize it to its full potential. You’ll find me scrolling through Facebook or Instagram, vacuuming the kitchen floor, or doing some other dumb task that is clearly not a priority. I decided on a mantra to help me manage the gift of time this year – If it is important, you will find the time. There will be no excuses this year. If I do not finish what I have put forward as goals for 2021, I will have no one to blame but myself.

I’m not telling you all of this so that you’ll be cheering me along on the sidelines. Though that would be nice. No, I’m doing it to make myself accountable. There are far too many people who say they will do something and then don’t. They’ll say it’s someone else’s fault or that something made it impossible. I don’t want to have to come up with an excuse at the end of the year when I haven’t done what I said I would do for me.

Okay, enough of this… I’ve got shit to do.

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