I have mentioned before about stolen time, and how I declared that when I wanted to find the time to read more, I did. Today I wanted to elaborate on that and explain how I did it and what inspired me. It started when this past winter, I asked myself why I felt that taking the time to do my favorite thing, read, felt like such a guilty pleasure. My entire life, I have read before bed. But oddly, anything more than that felt like I was not being productive, which is weird as reading is much more productive than for example, watching TV. It became obvious that I needed to both give myself permission to have me time and find the time to do it. Then I thought about an awesome conversation I had had with my grandmother a few years ago.
My grandmother Joanne is an amazing woman. She has done more with her life than most people put together and although getting quite up there in years, she’s still going strong. It started when we were talking about her resistance to facebook. She avoids it as she feel there are only so many years left and so much she wants to accomplish in those years. If facebook entered her life, her fear is that she would waste so much time on it that her goals would not be met. This was my first deep nugget of awesomeness from this conversation: I spend too much time on facebook. Then she told me about how when she was younger, had 5 kids under the age of 10 and was helping my grandfather run his business, she decided she wanted to write a book. So she found the time to do it. Getting up every day 2 hours before everyone in her family, she wrote her book. My grandmother found the time somehow to get the thing she wanted done and she then kept going. So lesson two was that if I wanted to do something badly enough, I could find the time…I mean really, I already had 5 less children in my own quest!
With these thoughts in my head, I sought out to steal back lost time from myself. First by granting myself the permission to do so. If I want to be happy and healthy, I need to make sure that my brain and body are exercised. So I made it a priority to give myself the time every day to read, work out and cook. Besides giving myself the time to do these things, they do not have to be what I cross off my list when I need extra time. The things that I do that do nothing for me in return are the things that needed to go. For me, these are watching tv (with the exception of during production in the studio) and checking up on things online for hours without actually doing anything. The amount of time I can waste re-checking stats, facebook, email, twitter and on and on is shocking. I started paying attention to when I was mindlessly doing either of these things (and not enjoying either of them) and would consciously get up and go read instead. I scheduled my workouts for 5 days a week and joined a kickboxing gym so I would have to answer to my trainer and my new workout bff (Hi Heidi!!) if I wasn’t there. I set aside time to cook at the very least dinner every night and I started paying attention to when I was mindlessly eating.
You know what happened? I went from reading 4 books a month to 10-12. I lost 45lbs and now have a visible 6 pack. I found a love for non fiction and historical fiction and have greatly expanded my knowledge on a few subjects I was really interested in. I’m still blown away with how much time I have to do these things and I’m not missing at all what they replaced. I’m not writing this to say that you should read more or not watch tv or anything like that. I just wanted to share how I felt like I was missing out on the things that made me happy and with a little tweaking to my life, discovered that I did in fact have the time for all of it. It’s one of the things I’ve done in a long time that I’m the most proud of as it’s made me prioritize what’s important and I feel so much better for it. Thank you to my grandmother (whom I call Ga) for the inspiration. It’s pretty cool what we can do when we set our minds to something!