There’s a dangerous statement so many of us utter weekly, even daily perhaps. “I don’t have time.” With each passing day our calendars and figurative plates get fuller and fuller. There are endless to-do lists filled with business meetings, overtime at work, Doctor’s appointments, homework, menus to prepare, food to shop for, clothing to buy, items to return, emails to check, facebook accounts to update. It is overwhelming, and that statement slips out “I don’t have time.” Unfortunately is it usually the activities we enjoy most that take the sideline to the To-do list. I understand the to-dos are important and should take priority, but there has to be some place in the week to squeeze in a little down time to do the things we enjoy. By activities I would venture to say it goes beyond playing on the internet, or watching TV. Those things I call fill-in activities. There are many of them that plague our modern world. Each time you turn on your computer, mobile phone or TV there’s a new app or game or TV show being advertised eagerly awaiting the chance to steal away those precious moments for real things to take place. There always seems to be enough time to do those things.
Now, please, don’t get me wrong, I enjoy that ‘down time’ just as much as any other person. I actually envy those folks with no TVs, and their ample time to read good books, paint, sculpt, play outside, garden, hike, build, and create. But I am not that strong, yet. I like The Middle and their antics, and I enjoy the laughs that come with laying back and watching the show. My hubby eagerly awaits Hockey Night in Canada, and takes full advantage of the few hours to simply sit idly and let the game re-fill his sports loving soul. My children love their cartoons, and squeal when they hear the theme song played from the soft speakers of the TV. So giving up TV would be a massive challenge for all of us. This year will most likely not be the year we join the ranks of no TV-for-us-folks. But the problem is, it’s so easy to slip into the slump of idling every day and night in front of a bright shiny screen.
My activity is painting. I am fully at fault and can be convicted of saying to myself, “I just don’t have time.” This was the last painting I managed to make time for. It was painted while Little Pea was still an ‘inside’ baby.* He’ll be two this May. The terrible part is, Peaches loves painting with her mommy, and loves watching me create new pieces. She would sit for hours and just watch quietly. Yet, I still say over and over, “I don’t have time to just paint for myself.” I would like to make a statement, here and now: I will make time for the things I enjoy. I will spend less time on the fill-in activities to make time for the things that give me purpose and joy.
What are the activities that give you true joy?
* Little Fox & Froggie is the very small art-based business I run from the comfort of my home. If you would like to cure your curiousity you can see what it is I do here.