Thursdays and Friday mornings tend to be my work-free or light-work time, so today, it’s blog-writing time. Why not.
Today I’m pondering time. Time has always fascinated me–everything we know shows evidence of time passing: plants grow, babies are born, people die, cars wear out, information gets outdated, bodies wear out, the Universe spreads out, the Sun burns off mass, and my cookies are currently getting more and more done in the oven. My cute little girl is growing right this second, as she naps. Nothing is static in time, or if you will, has a non-zero derivative with respect to time.
So what do we do with our time? I’ve become more and more aware of this lately, as I am paid by the hour and have to keep very careful track of time–both for the sake of honest reporting, and because I simply cannot afford to let too many minutes waste away in a day.
But an interesting thing has happened as I’ve been keeping track of all my minutes. Much like when someone dieting keeps track of everything they eat for a while, or people on a tight budget keep track of every penny, you start to notice things, and it seems simply by being more conscientious, you spend better. For example, I realized from the patterns on my work timesheet that I consistently do not do any work between about 3 and 7pm–post afternoon nap and pre-baby-bedtime. Four hours, every day, is actually a long time–20 hours of the workweek. For a while I didn’t even notice where that time went, and 20 hours a week is a lot of time. What on earth was I doing with it? Even just thinking about those four hours has been helpful for me, and if anyone out there is having “time budgeting issues”, I highly recommend keeping track of your time for a while. I daresay you, like me, might suddenly realize you are spending more time on Facebook than listening to your husband (or roommate, coworker, or child) talk about his/her day.
Speaking of husbands (or whoever you live with and are close to), I needed to re-budget time for mine. Pretty much every night since around when Alaythia was born we watch 21 minutes of comedy online before bed (an episode of The Office, The Simpsons, 30 Rock, Community, Parks and Recreation, or the funniest show of all time, Arrested Development), and then a quick read of part of the Bible. Because I work in the evenings and Kabyn works on his classes, we, and especially I, need a little mental wind-down space to cut the intensity of thought so we can sleep. Any of you students can probably understand this. But in my head, that 21 minutes of laughing together seemed to be enough time together, plus all the little interactions with-baby over dinner, before her bedtime, whatever. Friday evenings we usually spent time just relaxing together post-baby-bedtime, but we didn’t put much energy into actually talking.
So as you can see, my time budgeting had left no focused husband-time, which a week or two ago, we decided to change. We’ve been doing a bit better at talking each evening, and then making sure we do take time, actual time, each week to talk and catch up. And it’s been nice!
My other time budgeting decision has been to spend at least two focused hours a day with Alaythia, and she is up now, so I must go. WordPress (or some future version) will be here in 20 years, but my little girl will no longer be little.