I’m making a new, concerted effort to stop saying the phrase, “I didn’t have time.”
Because the truth is: I have as much time as we all do within a complete day. 24 hours. That’s how much time you have. That’s how much time I have.
So, I can’t say that I don’t have time when I have what you do today, too.
The honest statement to use in a majority of cases is, “I did not make time for that today.”
I choose (decided with my husband) to fill my days with my children, being available for my son’s multiple therapies, going to the library, planning meals for the week, reading out loud to the kids, doing preschool at home, and more.
If I didn’t load the dishwasher one day, it’s because I chose to do something else with my time that day.
If I work on a special writing project instead of watching television one evening, it’s because I chose to write with my time that day.
If I listened to my children when they talk to me, and I said “yes” to a request for reading a book for the fifth time in a row or to pull out craft supplies (hooray!), it’s because I chose to focus my time on them instead of my to-do list (or other distraction) that day.
Note: I do believe “I didn’t have time” can be a valid statement in some circumstances. If you had planned to return that work call one afternoon but couldn’t because you had to rush your child to an emergency doctor visit, you obviously didn’t have time even if all intentions were to accomplish that work call. The thoughts I’m expressing here are more for how we choose to use our time intentionally, which, for most of us, will comprise the majority of our minutes.
I’ve been thinking about this idea this week for two main reasons: I’m in a season of “survival” – swamped, juggling many obligations, and still not where we want/need to be in a couple of areas in our family life (financial and sleep, primarily). And, I just finished reading Tsh Oxenreider’s new book, Notes from a Blue Bike.
Part-memoir and part an offering of ideas, Tsh tells many of her family’s stories in Notes from a Blue Bike. If you’ve visited her widely-read blog, The Art of Simple (formerly Simple Mom), you know her family lived internationally for years, still keeps travel a priority, and focuses on living intentionally and simply. This book expresses much of what she’s learned in the past nearly 15 years of an adulthood pursuing meaningful use of the time we’re gifted.
I’ve loved Tsh’s writing for a long time. It’s powerful and relatable, but also simple and uncluttered. The way Tsh writes this book, we journey with her in both moments of her travels and in her thought processes. We arrive at revelations and new perspectives along with her. The book is divided into main areas her family focuses on for intentional living: food, travel, education, work, and entertainment. She relates stories, asks questions, and discusses her family’s conclusions (as well as ideas from other families, too) in each section.
This book, through a variety of topics, discusses possible answers to the questions, “Do the choices I make line up with how I really want to live?” (p. xxii) and “Can we live effectively in the US without productivity as our primary goal?” (p. 23, and also, whoa) and what intentional living really looks like when you act on it.
“…each of us is uniquely gifted to go out into the world and do things that matter.” – p. 88, Notes from a Blue Bike
I can barely pick a “favorite” section in this book because all the sections either reaffirmed decision I (and my husband) have already made for our family or helped me think about how to be more intentional – without feeling stressed and hurried. This book provides additional motivation to take each moment and each action of the gift we’ve been given (time) and use it to the best of my ability. That’s what I want to remember and hold on to.
“Making your days, choices, and relationships count toward something ultimately doesn’t matter if you don’t know what that something is.” – p. 197, Notes from a Blue Bike
The book doesn’t have to-do lists to check off or a 7-step process to follow (which practical me loves), but I’m still thinking days later about many of the thoughts Tsh shares, what I believe, and how it all impacts our family’s life. That’s the sign of a 5-star book for me.
“A more intentional life purposely slows down enough to enjoy the very process of living more intentionally.” – p. 206, Notes from a Blue Bike
Click here if you’d like to learn more about the book, watch the video trailer, or purchase a copy.
How do you remain focused on living your moments intentionally?
Disclosure: I was a part of the launch team for this book and received a free electronic copy of the book in exchange for my honest review. All opinions expressed are my own. I was not compensated in any other way.