When I heard myself this past Saturday grumbling about having to set my clocks forward an hour for Daylight Savings Time, I reminded myself that I was not losing an hour but instead banking an hour to use in the fall. That was when it dawned on me (no pun intended) that DST reminds me twice a year that even though time is limitless, this one hour meant something to me.
Not that long ago, yet way before cell phones became our watches and alarm clocks, people scheduled their day around sunlight since many labored outdoors. As the sunlight disappeared, the rest of the day was theirs to enjoy and to dedicate to family time and rest and relaxation. A cherished time for the mind, body, and soul to rejuvenate before the sun returned. What a different world we live in today, as I sit in a darkened room, so the sun doesn’t create a glare on my computer monitor. I realize that my days and nights blend together and are highlighted by habit and obligations not by sunlight and nightfall. I say, “Stop the madness!” It is time to choose me-time over no-time.
My suggestion for all of us is to take control of time based on what we want to do. There are some obligations, such as school and employment, which require some of our free time. If you can learn how to love what you do, you will see that time is not being wasted. Chinese philosopher Confucius has been credited to have stated, “Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.” What a great life it could be if we chose to live this way. To start this thought or path in your life, recognize the things you like about your obligations. By simply recognizing these things, I mean just that thought, watch how they become more prominent in your days. If you find yourself unable to find joy in your livelihood, then take time to make changes in how you view the tasks of your occupation.
Now that I gleamed over your obligatory hours, I want you to concentrate on what is in your control which is more than 2/3 of your time. No longer schedule fun in between “work.” Instead, schedule “tasks”, if you must around your fun. Let me show you the same scenario with two different outcomes.
Mary wakes up to a quick cup of coffee before going to work. Eating lunch at her desk, she gets through a pile of never-ending paperwork. Irritated that once again she is caught in traffic, she arrives home the normal time around 6:30pm. Hastily, puts together a dinner while thinking about all the things she didn’t get to do that evening, so she decides to make it a laundry night before going to bed without any positive thoughts playing over in her mind. Where did Mary’s day take her?
Mary enjoys a nice breakfast at home before leaving for her employment. She decides to enjoy lunch with a co-worker and gives herself time away from daily paperwork. On the slow ride home, she listens to her favorite author’s new audio book which helps her to leave work behind. That night as she stretches out after a nice dinner to watch a comedy she enjoys, she decides to do laundry during the commercials. After laying out her clothes for the next morning, she can go to bed for a good night’s rest before starts another good day. It had been a good day for Mary.
Same person, same day, but notice the different results. There was no added time to the second scenario. It was the thoughts that propelled the emotions on time well spent. I choose happy moments to formulate my happy days, and you can too. When you learn to accept that you control your time, you will live a fuller life. It is within your power to think about how you spend your time. Even with unlimited time, time is worth your attention. Use it wisely, use it well, and use it joyfully.