Q&A: How Do I Find the Time?
A question I often hear from beta readers: How do I make the time? Time to practice my faith? Time to meditate, to learn, and to pursue hobbies? How do I find the time around work, school, a family, and the hundreds of other responsibilities we all have?
This is obviously not an easy question to answer. In fact, I had intended to write this response over two months ago. I started, got halfway through, and realized that I had no idea. So I put it down, saying I’d come back to it when I had time. We see how that worked out.
Still, the question persists in my thoughts. It pops up when I’m hard at work at one of my day jobs, attending a weekly martial arts class, or spending time with loved ones. Any “free” time I have between that has to be divvied up for writing my novel, prepping and planning for the growth of Maiden’s Circle, and seeing to the basics of self-care, like sleep, food, and human interaction.
This new year has been one of change for all of us. Since October, I have moved to a new home, begun a new job, and entered a new relationship, among other changes. With these, came less time for my personal pursuits. In addition, I dove into writing the novel and let MCCA slide, resting on the fact that I was ahead in lesson planning and things seemed to be flowing forward without any need for a heavy hand (at least that’s what I told myself).
However, as the months rolled by, I meditated less, missed out on my usual rituals, and slept through full moons. Anyone who knows me in my personal life could probably tell you how important those things have been to me over the years, yet lately there seemed to be no time. At least, I kept telling myself there wasn’t. I believed it, too, until a little over a week ago, when I finally sat down and took stock of how I was actually spending my time.
Budgeting, whether time or money, is a skill I’ve not quite managed to master. Like many in our generation, I have made procrastination—and justification—an art. After a long day at work, I tell myself, “I deserve a little relaxation with Netflix; I can meditate before bed” (which I never get around to). Or after five hours of novel writing, I’m too fried to even think about Maiden’s Circle business. Worst of all, I have spent countless hours scrolling through Facebook, looking for nothing in particular.
This past week, I have been attempting to budget my time a little better and get it back under control. The flexibility of my current schedule actually makes that a little more difficult, as I don’t always know my day-to-day schedule for each week. At the moment, I’m timing myself. I’m looking at how long I spend doing activities I deem important, such as writing or MC work, and weighing it against the time I spend on unimportant things, such as Netflix binging or video games. Once I have a good idea of how much of my day is spent on these things, and factor in work and my dojo schedule, I’ll be able to readjust the ratios and be more efficient in my daily activities.
I believe this will allow me to finish my manuscript, to get Maiden’s Circle up and running, to return to my regular spiritual practice, and to reach my highest potential, as well as, help others to do so.
This may not be the most satisfactory answer, as I am still in the process myself. I suppose the real point is to keep trying. Don’t wait for the “right circumstances.” Don’t let yourself fall back on excuses. The only one who can determine whether you succeed or fail and who can tell you what you can and cannot do is you. Simply put, you decide what’s worth your time, and you decide how to spend it.
Many blessings and with great love,
Lady Morgana Brighid, HP MCCA
Thanks to everyone for the great questions! Keep’em coming!
Here’s one for you: What do you feel are essential and unessential uses of your time? Do you think there is a balance of the two? If not, which is dominant and what methods might you use to find that balance?