You don’t have to wait until things reach a critical point before you take stock of your life. Make it a habit to regularly sit down, be with yourself and ask yourself what you want, if you are happy with how you spend your time, if your relationships are strong or just a place to gossip. Go on a retreat, take a weekend to write in your journal and read inspiring books. Step away from your life in order to look at it more deeply. To paraphrase Michael Gerber: “Work ON your life, not just IN it.”
TAKE it off.
What are you still settling for in your life, in your surroundings, in your schedule? What’s draining you? What’s not a “hell yes?”
Be ruthless in answering these questions. And then, be ruthless in letting go. Take it off and feel the space that’s created from not settling for excess maybe’s in your life. Make your life one big YES – and live from that place.
How to Heal a Planet: A Give-and-Take Guide by Christine Kane
and, there's this:
And my time is particularly precious right now, because I’m not only writing but also teaching full-time and attempting to finish a doctoral dissertation. And I have a seven-year-old.
To be honest, I think what I did to make time for all those things is cut out the things that wasted time, that didn’t seem worthwhile. But that took looking at life a little differently.
So for example, once upon a time I used to make dinner. I would get home from the university and make dinner, which took about an hour. When we lived in the city, that was easy to do and still left time in the evenings. But here, after my commute, I am far too tired in the evenings. So instead of making dinner, I rely on organic frozen dinners. I know, they’re not homemade, but they’re as healthy as anything I would make myself, and Ophelia gets to try all sorts of things I don’t know how to make. . . . And while they’re cooking in the oven, I can write a blog post.
There are all sorts of other ways in which I decided to simplify my life and make time for what I thought truly mattered. For example, I decided a long time ago never to buy any clothes that required dry-cleaning. . . . All of the dishes and utensils go into the dishwasher, including the silver plate. If silver plate is used every day, it doesn’t need polishing. I have furniture that doesn’t need a lot of care, solid wood pieces. The floor requires sweeping and the rugs must be vacuumed, but this is a small house, relatively easy to keep clean. (It could be both cleaner and neater, but here I’ve decided that I’m not going to feel guilty about spending time writing instead of cleaning. Because after all, everyone who visits tells me how neat my house is. So that’s good enough, right?)
. . .
I should say, too, that there are a lot of things people consider leisure activities that I don’t bother with, partly because to me they’re not all that interesting. Going to movies in theaters, for example. Any sport that involves a ball. (I’ve discussed, haven’t I, my experience with balls? We repel each other, like magnets. Imagine how difficult that made kickball, in elementary school!) Going sailing, just to go sailing rather than getting anywhere. Going to any sort of gym for exercise. (Why? I’d rather go to a dance class.) Going to a spa. (Why? I’d rather learn to spin wool, or fight with a sword, or just about anything.) And I don’t shop, except when I’m going to an old book store, a thrift store, an antiques market. If I’m going to shop, it’s going to be an adventure. (Malls. Why?) That’s a good rule, actually: don’t do anything unless it’s an adventure. The other stuff: what’s the point? (Unless you like doing it, of course, and then you should. But don’t do things just because you feel as though you ought to.)
Not that it’s effortless. There are days when I’m tired, days when I don’t want to write. But I do think that writing is not about having time, but about making time. It’s about priorities. It’s about doing the things that truly matter, and trying to minimize the rest.
Making Time by Theodora Goss
In the end, it all comes down to Mary Oliver's Very Important Question: "Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?" (I'm not a tattoo girl, but if I ever did get tattoos, one of them would be that question, somewhere like on my forearm where I could see it all the time. (The other would be one of my favorite quotes from Rumi: "The breeze at dawn has secrets to tell you./Don't go back to sleep./You must ask for what you really want./Don't go back to sleep."))
Picture found here.