Three weeks…no updates to this page except for two angrily (and sloppily) written rants about some high profile coaching buffoonery…no posts on my Facebook page….not a word read on my Reader or on Freshly Pressed…not a Like or a comment made…and not a single word written for my next book.
As a general rule, there are few excuses I hate more than “I don’t have time”. It’s an excuse for all occasions, and it’s an easy one to turn to. It keeps us out of the gym. It keeps us from cooking healthy meals and eating them at the table with our families. It keeps us from maintaining our homes and our lawns. It keeps us from fulfilling unpleasant obligations in both our personal and professional lives. And, worst of all, it keeps us from pursuing our dreams.
The truth of the matter is that we have the time to do anything important enough for us to MAKE THE TIME. School starts at 8:00, but I get up at 4:00 every work day to make sure I spend at least an hour focused on being/becoming a writer. I set an alarm for 6:00 on Saturdays for the same reason. Admittedly, that hour often gets divided between writing, blogging, marketing, etc. But it’s SOMETHING. And ANYTHING is better than nothing. I hit my school’s weight room in the 40 minutes between the end of the school day and when I need to leave for rugby practice for the same reason. It’s the only time I get to work out, and I’m going to take advantage of it. It might not be much, but it’s something.
So, next time you say you don’t have time for something, ask yourself what you’re really saying. Is it that you really don’t have time for it? Or are you simply admitting it doesn’t mean enough to you to find the time in your day? I know that my lawn goes to shit every fall because “I don’t have the time” to take proper care of it from mid-August to mid-November. But that lawn is really a declaration that after an early morning writing or working out (no after-school time during football season), a day in the classroom, and an afternoon on the field, what little time is left in the evening is going to go to my wife and my daughter. My neighbors will simply have to cope with the fact that I haven’t run the weed-whacker in eight weeks.
It’s easy to dream big – about writing a book, about recording an album, about dropping those twenty pounds, about running a marathon – but it’s a lot harder to take the small steps necessary to achieve those dreams. And it’s far too easy leave those dreams behind entirely. Take ownership of your time, and take ownership of your life.
Now…with that said. Where the hell have the last three weeks gone?
1. Croup – I don’t know if there’s anything scarier than waking up in the middle of the night to the sound of a two-year-old who can’t breath. And there are few things more exhausting and frustrating than a sick toddler.
2. Bronchitis – There’s ten days of my life I’m never getting back. My wife was convinced I’d given myself pneumonia by continuing to go to school and then to rainy rugby practices. My lungs were clear, but I still cost myself three days of school, two practices, and a match.
3. Lesson Planning – I’ve spent the past month teaching a handful of short stories and whole stack of poetry (it is April, after all) that I’ve never taught before. I had some extra time in my schedule and figured what the hell?. Unfortunately, I’ve run myself ragged putting together new unit and lesson plans on the fly. On Thursday I’m starting a novel I’ve taught before and for which my ducks are nicely in a row. And thank God! Because waiting for me are…
4. Research Papers – I’m weeks behind grading these things because of number 3.
5. Rugby – Specifically, the desperate struggle to figure out how to avoid the first losing season of my career (in either sport). Number 2 didn’t help here.
It’s been a wild few weeks. But I’m back now. Today’s early morning hour has been spent on WordPress. Tomorrow’s needs to be spent in Word.
No more excuses.