It’s a rainy Sunday here in Southern California. Perfect weather to stay in, get some house chores done, and do some writing! While laundry was tumbling and turning in the washer and dryer, I finished reading another ballroom book over breakfast. Next, I was going to sit down and write my review. Thoughts for my own next book started flitting around my head though. I also needed to put together the article for the interview I did with another ballroom dancer. Then I started thinking about my own dancing and how I should review my waltz and do more work on learning the tango routine. I knew the competition I was aiming for would get here faster than expected. Speaking of competing, I wondered how long would it take to find a suitable amateur partner. I just started posting on social media this past week that I was officially in search of one. I needed to do more cross-training and recommit to regular stretching too. I should also do another assessment of my finances and figure out where the remaining comp money was coming from. Then there were the other investments I was thinking about making this year. Tax time was also coming up. I needed to get my business structure solidified.
My brain makes quick associations and if I permit it, it can go skipping off on several different tangents before you can say “derailed train of thought.” In about five minutes, I went from feeling relaxed and productive to overwhelmed. How was I supposed to find time to do everything?
I don’t have a singular passion – both ballroom dancing and writing fuel my soul and each other. Unfortunately, Life doesn’t give me double the time each day to pursue two passions. Once again, I find myself diverting from the usual path. You would think if ballroom dance is my passion, I would commit 100% of my efforts to it and not spend time on a blog or writing books. Or if I wanted to become a successful author, I wouldn’t spend my time on something like ballroom dance (especially when it’s so expensive and writing is NOT the way to a rich lifestyle!). These two paths are intertwined though; I can’t do one without the other.
I think about it a lot and worry I won’t end up successful in either pursuit because I tried focusing on both of them, while also working a full-time day job and caring for two dogs. The truth is I won’t be successful if I just go day to day without a clear plan. If I just wait until I find the time, it will always get filled up with distractions. Then, like this morning, when I think of all of the things I need and want to accomplish, I’ll get overwhelmed and end up mentally paralyzed. I have to make the time.
It’s an important distinction. People frequently complain that they can’t find the time to do things they want to do or see friends or family they wish they could see. But what are they doing with their time instead? Whether it’s obligations or pleasures, we fill our time with whatever we prioritize. We make the time for what we prioritize.
I think we shift the responsibility away from ourselves a bit when we say we can’t find time. Finding time implies it’s out there, waiting to be discovered. Maybe we’ll discover where it’s hidden, and maybe we won’t. Making time, on the other hand, puts the control squarely in our hands. We don’t need to look for the time because we create it. Of course, Life makes it more complicated, but I found that I felt more responsible and motivated when I said “make” instead of “find” when I was talking about whether or not I had time for something or someone.
I have a lot of goals I want to accomplish. If I organize and prioritize my time effectively, if I make the time to work toward my goals, I can be successful. I didn’t do the greatest job today. This morning was productive, but then it took me ALL afternoon and part of the evening to finish this post because I got distracted by Facebook and TV. I’m going to get myself back on track this evening and work on those posts I mentioned at the beginning of this one.
It’s still raining by the way. One of the movies I was trying to just listen to and not watch (but ended up watching anyway) was interrupted by a emergency flash flood warning. Hopefully, we don’t all get washed away before I finish the other things I have prioritized!