Time. Who has enough of it? I know I don’t! There is always something that needs doing and I quite literally don’t seem to have enough time to do it all. Sometimes these are things that I absolutely love doing (writing my blog, walking the dogs, catching up with a friend, special time with my kids) but if I’m honest a lot of them I don’t love (taking the bins out, doing the washing, doing the cooking, disciplining my children). Now I’m sure there is scope to make my life a little easier if I could get up a little earlier. A typical morning for me starts with one of my alarms going off at 6.55am (which is promptly switched onto snooze) and then my next alarm goes off at 7.05am (which is also swiftly swatted onto snooze). This results in my hand flailing around in an attempt to find the snooze button every 4.5 minutes in desperate hope of keeping my snooze fest in full swing. Around 7.35am I admit defeat and half roll/half fall out of bed. And I would be lying if I said I’d never rocked up at the school gates with my pyjama top on under my coat! In short, I’m not a morning person. However, I have a sneaky feeling that if I was given 5 more hours in the day I would probably still feel rushed and overly stretched.
So I’ve been thinking, maybe the problem isn’t that 24 hours in a day isn’t enough time to do it all, but in fact how I am managing the 24 hours I am given. If I believe that God made the earth, sun, moon and stars (which by the way I do!) then He also made Time! And therefore I believe that He would have carefully calculated just the right amount of Time in the day for me to get all my chores done in! And I honestly don’t think God wants me speeding from one thing to another, grumbling about how much I have on and somewhere along the way not only dropping the ball but completely smashing it to pieces.
So what now? Now, I am left with the task of considering how I can manage my time better. The fact is, not everything needs doing, I just THINK everything needs doing, in order to have “succeeded”. But should success be marked by stuff accomplished? Maybe we should measure success by the lives we can touch? The help we can offer rather than the task we can complete? I know I spend (and waste) an awful lot of my time in my head, thinking about my problems, worrying about my life, and don’t spend enough time looking around at other people’s problems and lives. Now maybe you are more selfless and generous than I am and reading about my selfish introspection shocks you, BUT maybe, just maybe you are also like me. Wanting to be selfless, wanting to be generous, but just not managing to fit it in?
So I am going to try a new way of organising my day-a list! My husband loves lists, I hate them. However, in the spirit of selflessness, I will conquer my dislike of lists and take a moment to organise my life better and make a list (hubby will be so proud!), a list of must-do-or-else jobs, a list of not-such-an-issue jobs and a list of if-it-never-happens-how-bad-can-it-be list. Now there is already a temptation to put ironing and buying Christmas presents on the must-do-or-else jobs, but I’m going to try and hold it back and think of some things that do not involve my own needs. The great thing is that there are so many different ways in which we can help others. Maybe it’s to smile at a stranger you pass on the street, maybe it’s saying “hi” to a new mum at school, maybe it’s driving to the food bank to drop off some things you can do without, or maybe it’s signing up with Child Line or the Samaritans. Help comes in all shapes and sizes and I honestly think there is far more “success” in doing any one of those acts than in vacuuming the house or cleaning the bath. Please know that I am not saying those things aren’t important-our every day lives must continue and function, with our needs and our children’s needs being met. I’m just hoping we can find ways to feel ok if guests are coming over and in order to deal with the dirty dishes we just stick them all in the sink and fill it to the top with hot water and fairy liquid and pretend we are mid wash-up! (Tried and tested and I can honestly assure you this is a winner!)
I also can’t help but dwell on the second commandment right now:
“Love your neighbour as yourself”.
This is an incredibly challenging task sometimes and not always easy-to always love others with the same love and feeling we have for ourselves? To go one whole hour without shouting at my children? Or without moaning about my husband coming home later than promised? Hard. Very hard. But nevertheless, how wonderful and glorious to get in line with Gods wishes and very best interests for us?
So on that note, maybe taking the time to dwell on Gods word is in fact the most “successful” part of any day.