“Oh, take the time to waste a moment,
Oh, never ask to be forgiven”
– Kings of Leon
How hard is it to actually take the time to enjoy our life? Like actually do the small things that make us happy? For example, actually sitting and reading your favorite book for an hour or taking a day off work to actually go fishing or go see that new movie you’ve been dying to watch! Why don’t we do this more? When you’re a kid, all you think about is how adults get to do whatever they want. They can see movies anytime and eat junk food in the morning! You thought that was so cool! You were jealous of adult’s freedoms as a kid. When in reality…
You had it pretty damn good.
Don’t get me wrong! Being an adult is awesome 80% of the time (20% of the time is actually having to be an adult making adult decisions and still not scheduling doctor appointments) I don’t have to worry about, “What if they check my ID for this R-rated movie?” or “Man, I cannot eat pizza for the fourth night in a row!” …I shouldn’t eat as much pizza as I do, but hell! I’m an adult! 😀 I regret it by the summer, that seems to always sneak up on me, and my dream of actually having a “bikini-ready-body” are crushed when it’s mid-June and I realize, “Shit…it’s summer again!”
Now, back to my point – adults have a really hard time enjoying the moment, taking breaks, and actually doing what we want to do. If I had it my way, I would be fit and tan traveling the world with my husband. We would try all the different foods and drinks in each country. We would be taking tons of photos to remember for the rest of our lives so that we could have tons of photo albums to show our kids how awesome we were (and still are). In reality, I am currently planning how to teach math, science, social studies, reading, writing, life skills, how to be a good person to a classroom full of 23 dramatic (but awesome) 5th graders. All the while, I still have boxes of my clothes unorganized in my new place. I haven’t worked out in 2 months. I’m snacking on pretzels and DP at 5:30pm watching Always Sunny in Philadelphia while I’m mentally planning out my week of work and how to fit everything in. I still need to get my hair colored and cut. My puppy is in desperate need of a grooming too. Still happy and enjoying life because I live by the mountains, I love my husband, I just saw my family and went to a KOL concert at Red Rocks, I do have a job to be stressed about, and I’m still excited about my new Hunter boots!
Here’s the truth – Being an adult means planning for “taking the time to waste a moment” or enjoying the moment. I took the entire last week to plan to be gone from school for 2 days. I had to make a plan if my class did get a substitute teacher and made another plan if my class of 23 kids were split into 3 different classes. It was nuts! In the moment of my two day break, I could not have been happier! Starting off the week not having to work for the first 2 days gave me time to breathe. Relax. Enjoy time with my family and see a concert at Red Rocks for the first time. I’m not saying that the only way to enjoy life is to take off work or quit your job. (But if we could….and get paid for that, I’m in!) What I’m saying is that it’s hard to take time as an adult because we have so much to think about. Everything costs money. Therefore, you need a job to make money. You want to make more money to do even more fun things. Therefore, you have to be awesome at your job. So, you work more hours and take on more responsibilities to be noticed as a hard worker. Therefore, you hope for a raise and don’t take vacation days because missing a day means a lot more work for you when you come back. So, then you’re coming home by 6:00 pm every night tired and hungry and watch your usual Netflix show fighting to stay awake when really all you’ve been thinking about since 8 am is sleeping in your bed. Which, let’s be honest…is the best way to waste a moment.
Last week, I came home from work and instead of doing the usual (make a quesadilla, change into sweatpants, watch Gossip Girl for the millionth time, and do nothing until the husband comes home) – I put on my tennis shoes and went for a long walk with Cooper. I took the time to enjoy the new place that I live in. I breathed. I focused on thinking about what I was seeing in the moment rather than all the things I should be doing or should’ve already done. Which is hard to do by the way. Especially, because I’m a planner. I like to be the best. I’m an organizer. I like to get things done. I wish I was more like those friends of mine that can literally show up anywhere with no plan and enjoy life. I can’t pretend to be someone I’m not, but we should all take time to enjoy our lives! Life is moving fast and we never know when our book ends. (Scary thought!)
I want to enjoy my life a little longer without kids. I want to travel to some more places. I want to be good at my job but still take care of myself. I want to find a way to change the world. I want to be a better Christian. Better wife. Better teacher. Better daughter. Better sister. Better friend. Better person. Isn’t that what we all want though? So why aren’t we doing it? Why aren’t we booking a flight to Ireland because it’s a place you’ve always wanted to visit? Why aren’t you taking a day off work to fly back home and visit your family because you never see them anymore? Why do I not take more time talking to my husband and doing things together after work instead of planning for the next day of teaching? Why am I not just going for a run right now?
Because, we’re adults. Because, the truth is – there’s just not enough time for it all. You have moments. You decide how big or small those moments are. And you should take moments. Don’t work over 50 hours a week and the remaining hours be for eating and sleeping. Don’t go another year not booking a vacation. Don’t only focus on the adult things – finances, debt, doctor appointments, kids, jobs, promotions, new tires, cleaning the house, laundry, getting enough sleep, eating healthy, etc. We should focus on these things in moments. These are all important things. But I think we take up so much time thinking about all the shit we have to do that we build it all up for one weekend or one day. I think we have to come to terms that we need to plan out our lives a little better. Our parents did it for years when we were kids! On Mondays, we had soccer. On Tuesdays, we had guitar lessons. On Wednesdays, we had a school function. On and on and on. So let’s plan our adult lives better! Let’s make our tasks reachable and functional. Break it all up! Let’s not break it up by day, because that gets to be too much right now. Let’s plan by the week. Here’s my idea:
- List all of your tasks that you need accomplished. There’s a difference between needing snow tires and wanting to get my hair colored and cut.
- Now, highlight or circle the top 10 tasks that need or should be done by the end of the month.
- Level those 10 tasks by importance. It’s kind of fun and then you may realize how silly it is that you just listed, “needs laundry soap” as one of your top 10 tasks. But hey! You wrote it down and now it will get done.
- Break up those tasks for the following weeks by two’s or three’s . For example, Week 1 – I will call and make dentist appointments and organize my winter clothes. Week 2 – I will make a grooming appointment, shop for snow tires, and finally finish that cute craft I started for the bathroom. And so on.
- Now, write notes in your house or set reminders on your phone. Give yourself a deadline. If you don’t meet that deadline, then you have to push that task to the following month (which means that if you can’t go buy laundry soap in week 1, you will be out of it for a month). Be strict with yourself.
- After you have organized your tasks and set your reminders, think of one fun thing you’d like to do for that month. Start small depending on how busy your life is. For example, the month of October is here! If you’ve been wanting to go to a pumpkin patch, then plan it! Pick a date on your calendar and set that day for “Pumpkin Patch Day”. After you accomplish you’re one fun thing, even if the month isn’t over, plan another one! Pick a date and do it. Only change if something family-related or job-related comes up. Do it even if that certain Saturday you’re really exhausted. Just do it!
- Try it out. Share with friends. Pick someone to help you with this. See what they add. By the end of each month, you should have been able to do 2-3 really fun things and were accomplishing tasks every step of the way.
- Don’t overdue it. If you notice that the first month, you weren’t getting half of your tasks done. Then simplify your goals. Adjust them. Move them around. Ask for help! Maybe one of those tasks, a friend could do for you. Or your spouse can do on their way home while you’re preparing dinner.
Let’s try it out for the month of October and see what happens! I’m in if you’re in. 🙂
Take the time to waste a moment!
As always, thanks for reading!