My friend, Lauren, wrote recently with a concern: “I’ve been feeling so stressed and fearful about not having enough time to do what I want. I’ve become more aware and perhaps obsessed about my mortality.”
Who hasn’t experienced this quandary as we age? Who hasn’t taken stock and worked to create some significant changes in order to make more time for what feeds us, heals us, makes us laugh, and what brings simple joy into our lives?
There might not be enough time to do everything I want to do before … well, you know … before the end of our time in the physical universe (a nice way of saying dying).
It’s not that I’m stuck doing for others and can’t seem to get around to having time for what’s important to me. I’m fortunate no one depends on me to cook, entertain, save, or even clean up after. Hopefully, by this age, our “musts” and “have to’s” have shrunk to a bare minimum, and we can make time for self-sustaining and, for the most part, pleasurable activities.
I’m not alone. Lots of my friends are stressed about the lack of time. You’d think after being sequestered we’d have had time to catch up on projects, newly acquired self-care habits, and learning new ways to be the best that we can be. And yet there’s still that nagging feeling “I won’t get it all done.” It almost feels like I accomplished more when I had a full-time job and greater outside responsibilities.
Perhaps I’ve overcommitted my time in a myriad of activities. How can that be when time and energy saving devices, coupled with basically having most all chores done for me in a senior living community, have freed me from so many tasks? Perhaps in our older age we’ve become slower, less capable of multi-tasking or getting as much accomplished as we used to when we juggled a home, kids, a spouse, and a job.
One Thing About Not Enough Time to Do It All
I think one huge aspect of not getting as much done as I did before the pandemic is because we’ve been unable to do many activities for a very long time. Activities like travel, eating out, going to the movies or the library or even the grocery store, doctor’s office, or vet’s, and now – phew! – we want out, especially when the weather and the virus case numbers allow it. I’m okay with fighting for a parking space at Target just for a look-see if they have something I might want. I’m SO tired of shopping online. I want to go to the lecture at the library or attend my women’s group in person instead of via Zoom. Zoom is wonderful, don’t get me wrong. It provided the connection to life that we craved and especially since we were able to do it in our bathrobes or without makeup.
Thankfully we’re getting to a place where we’re able to be out and about. Its taken a little time to get back in the swing of things, but I’m getting better at doing most activities in person that until recently I’d only done online. I’m so grateful for this opening up as a result of diminishing COVID numbers in most communities. For all our sakes, I hope it continues.
Okay, but back to the issue of having enough time.
I’ve shared on numerous occasions: When asked, “What’s the biggest mistake we make in life?” And I love Buddha’s reply, “The biggest mistake is thinking you have time….” Whether this is an actual quote by Buddha or not, I love the reminder to not put things off, to do what makes me my best and what feeds my soul.
Time is free and yet it’s priceless. You can’t own it, but you can use it. You can’t keep it, but you can spend it. And you can always waste it – something we all do.
How Are You Feeling About Time These Days?
Do you feel freaked that there’s not enough time to accomplish what you want? If so, do you think about this every day? What are you doing to make sure you get done everything you want to do? Perhaps you’re not concerned at all. Perhaps you’ve done pretty much all that you wanted to accomplish and now it’s time to sit back and relax.