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Breaking Up with “Not Enough Time”

An “Aha” Moment

Wednesday I had a couple of long drives in my car, alone. I wish I didn’t love driving as much as I do… but there is something meditative about flying down pavement between the stripes. I really love highway driving (even more after dark, but I digress).

While I drove to Ann Arbor to meet several Twitter friends for tea, I had a waking-up moment. I’m good at some sorts of discipline, and very bad at other types. I had a bit of a puzzle over that for a while.

What I Do Well

I’m good at sticking to foods that make me feel healthy. It does not feel like a big problem to just say “no” to foods I like but which don’t treat me with respect.

If I have “a deadline” I am good at saying no to anything else until that deadline is handled. Here’s where the problem comes in, though. It works fine if the deadline can be handled in a week or less. However, with big projects, I say no to myself far too often, for far too long.

A Less Useful Version

I’m preparing for teaching at Sock Summit in Portland, Oregon. I’ve known I’d be teaching there for months, now. I’ll be there in 2 weeks.

Teaching is what I was born to do: I love it more than eating or sleeping, and I can’t wait to be there. I keep thinking of new things I can add to the great job I plan to do.

(Mind you, the classes are only so long. I can only teach until the “bell rings” and the students are let out into the world. This does not stop me from thinking of more value-items I want to add into each session.)

We all know that any project can expand to fit any number of hours allotted to its planning and execution. I could knit samples for a year to illustrate my points, but the samples I already have knit are no doubt plenty of illustration.

I am capable of planning classes until I forget to think about laundry, so I can pack clothing for the trip (rather important, even if not specifically class materials). I am capable of ignoring everything but my one “big deadline” until it’s over. This is not healthy, and it’s unnecessary.

The Other Side

I have not “let myself” knit for my own pleasure, for my own joy… in far too long. The reason I am in the knitting biz is because I love knitting socks SO MUCH!

I love teaching, yes. But why is it that since I learned I was going to teach for Sock Summit, I have not “allowed” myself to knit much for myself?

Change Teaches Us

One day a week or two ago, I had done so much that day I gave myself a treat. I got out a Maxi ZigBag I’m knitting (a Biggie, large purse sized). I’ve been working on this bag for over a year, mostly pulling it out when I teach classes on the subject.

That night, I just let myself knit on it for fun. It’s multicolored “stranded” knitting, my favorite.

I had more energy the next day for work. I am rather confident that the pleasure knitting had something to do with that inner shift.

Pandora Back in the Box?

I think I’m again dealing with that double-whammy monster called Scarcity/Hoarding. Scarcity says there is not enough to go around… so I hoard what I’ve got, in case Scarcity is right.

I need to break up with this concept. I need to throw the monster into some sort of jail or Ghostbuster containment box.

How?

I don’t so much *need* to do this, as I *choose* to do this. Who knows what it will look like?

Maybe I will give myself the 15 minutes while I wait for my teakettle to boil in the morning, just to knit for joy and pleasure. Maybe I’ll find another way to do it.

Have you ever had to say goodbye to “I don’t have time?” How did that work in your life? How did you do it? Do you have relapses (I expect I may)?

(Tonight I started by taking a long walk, just short of an hour, in the neighborhood. My health and my happiness both benefited.)

Input more than welcome…

Photo: City sunset featuring the Quality Dairy corner store. Full of wires and poles and cars and streets… but beautiful just the same. Unrelated to this post, but very much a typical image of Lansing, Michigan, USA… where I live and work.

2 Responses to “Breaking Up with “Not Enough Time””

  1. Susan Gallacher-Turner Says:

    I do know what you’re going through…I spent the last 3 years so focused on the business of art and teaching that I lost sight of the joy and love that doing art and teaching gave me.  I needed to feed me, literally, while my soul was starving.  I got to a place where, like you, I had to find space and time for joy and pleasure.  I think walking is a great way to get there.  Yes, I still have relapses, but I’m not as ‘hungry’ as I was before.

    A sock summit?  Sounds like fun!

  2. LynnH Says:

    It seems I’ve had a few years of changing gears and directions. I’m the same me, the same creative person. Yes, feeding self literally remains a firm need. One day at a time I get better at the balance.

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