Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Flying Lessons

Lesson 20:
Time is my most precious commodity.

I continue to learn this lesson again and again.  Which begs the question, 'how well am I LEARNING it?'  There are so many ways I can spend my time.  There is so much to do - even so many GOOD things to fill my day with.  There are also things that are major time wasters that I have taken out of my life.  It may sound funny but here are a few things I've done:

-Removed any game (especially fruit ninja) from my phone
-Stay away from facebook and limit my time on the computer in general -- checking my email only 3 times a day max (even though I can check email on my phone I only do it at home).
- Don't watch TV.  We haven't had cable in 11 years and I don't remotely care or miss all of the tv series and shows that have come and gone in that time.  That isn't to say that I don't enjoy a movie every week or two when we have our late night dates at home after the kids are asleep.
- Make lists about what I need to do in specifics:  ie - when on the computer go here and order this and go here and post on my blog and then check email.  This keeps my from aimlessly browsing the internet and missing out on all the fun things my children are doing in the backyard while I'm at the computer.

I feel like I have a long way to go.  I'm not even mentioning reading because I LOVE to read and I think it keeps my mind sharp and teaches me new things all the time.  That could also just be my excuses for spending time on reading.  I do feel that I choose books that are clever and uplifting, historical books that teach me, books on gardening and money -- but again, I love me a good novel as well.  I find that if I keep a book in my van and a book in my house that its amazing how many little pieces of 5 or 10 minutes I can steal away from what would otherwise be sitting time (waiting in line somewhere, waiting at the doctor office, waiting in line to pick up my kids from school, holding a sleeping little one on my lap...)

I'm still a great time waster - I know I waste plenty of time on garage sales and junking.  When I'm out at a store by myself, I wander the isles just enjoying being in a store alone.  I waste time looking around at Goodwill, hoping to find a treasure.  I know I have a million more ways to improve, little steps at a time.

What I do like is that I feel emotionally present in the moment.  I'm sad to say this has not always been the case.  In years past as soon as I got the kids in the car to go somewhere I knew they were safely restrained in the back seat - I would give them something to play with and then get on the phone doing business calls.    I had a few expereinces that made me realize that even by NOT listening to my children while driving in the car, I was missing out.  I was not present and there with them in the moment.  I was distracted and irriatated if they became uphappy.  I'm trying so much harder these days to answer YES more often; yes I can come pitch to you, yes I will go outside and help you ride your bicycle, yes lets go down in the basement and do art together, yes I'll read you a story, yes I would love to play cars with you, yes I'll help you set up your playmobiles, yes lets make cookies together.  I'm not telling anyone that tv or games are bad - I just know that for me, when I say yes to spending more time with my children, to listening to them (even if the conversation does not include me), yes to being totally mentally and emotionally present when they are talking to me - it makes us all happier.  It makes them feel important and know that I care.  And I DO care.  About all of it.
Sailing on,


  1. Thanks for this post Emily. I too waste WAY too much time and need to spend more time with my kids. This gave me renewed motivation to be in the moment more often.

  2. such a great lesson. I need to learn it and not waste so much time. I also like your comment about being emotionally and mentally present.

  3. we are working on this too! my new favorite quote (now hanging on our wall) by thoreau:

    "As if you could kill time without injuring eternity."

    motivating. :)

  4. I love this post Emily. I feel inspired to renew how I spend time with my kids too. I especially feel guilty for all the times this past week the girls have asked to have me help them learn to ride their bikes and I have said no because it is just so hot....I will now say, yes! When the sun goes down or before 10 am. :)