This is the most challenging idea that I've confronted myself with lately.
I've been mulling it over for a few weeks and I'm writing about it now so that I will remember it. This *new concept will likely challenge you, too.
*Okay, it's not really that new. But it's kind of rocked my world, so bear with me in my use of superlatives.
I must warn you though:
If you like telling people how busy you are and that you just can't make time to do other things, please don't read this. You can't unread this once it's read.
There's no turning back.
Okay, you asked for it.
Lately I've been telling people that the biggest lie on the internet is, "Yes; I have read and agree to the Terms and Conditions..." Ever since I realized this, I make an effort to read the terms and conditions of whatever it is I'm agreeing to, or at least look to see what changes have been made from last time. My guess is that we all do it, without even realizing that we are lying.
Well, I've got another one for you. One that matters a little more.
Yesterday, another oft-told lie sneaked up and punched me in the face.
"I just don't have time..."
How many times have you uttered that phrase? Once? Once a day? Five times a day? I have caught myself saying that more than once recently, to explain why something didn't get done. And it's a LIE!
Before I explain, I think it's important to re-introduce myself to you (just in case you've forgotten):
I'm a middle-aged, stay-at-home, homeschooling mother of three pre-teen/teens. My husband sacrifices his time by working a challenging, and at times stressful, job so that we can all enjoy the luxury that a stay-at-home parent affords. Therefore, I generally try to stay on top of household chores, keeping the house moderately presentable while also teaching the children and taxiing them around to different activities. I also volunteer in several capacities through church and homeschool groups. In short, I have a good excuse for saying I'm too busy to do something or to say that something didn't get done because I didn't have the time. But to say so would be a LIE.
When my husband comes home and asks if I called to schedule the oil change, I might answer, "Oh shoot, I was too busy," or "Nope; I just didn't have time today." But that's a LIE.
I have 24 hours in a day just the same as you. I can choose to spend that time eating candy or chopping veggies or reading a school book to the kids or making phone calls or lesson planning or sleeping or cleaning or playing games or raking leaves or making lists or marking tests or updating computer files... The possibilities are nearly endless. So when I say that I didn't have time, what I really mean, and what I need to start saying, is that I didn't MAKE the time.
Let me reiterate - If I don't get something done, it's not that I don't have the time to do it; it's that I didn't choose to make the time to do it. I am, in effect, saying that what I DIDN'T do wasn't as important as all the other things I did do today.
Can we agree to stare our own laziness in the face? Let's try to stop saying, "I didn't have time," and start saying, "I didn't make the time." It really is the more honest way of expressing ourselves and taking ownership of the choices that we make, whether done with full awareness or merely subconsciously.
And with that I need to log off... I still need to schedule that oil change.
P.S. I'm adding this a few hours later to mention that saying, "No" is a very good thing sometimes. We just need to understand that when we say "No, I don't have time" "we are really saying, "No, I choose not to make time for that because I have other priorities at the moment." Sometimes we have to choose not to make time for really good things.
Time and money are both precious commodities. Just like we can't give our money to every good cause, we also can't give our time to every good cause. We have to choose which cause is most important to us. And just like money is used to purchase items that fuel us, our time is also spent on refueling ourselves.