Happy New Year!
What does this turning of the calendar mean? When I was younger, I would get my emotions all wrapped up in this turning of the year. It was a tangible experience of the passing of time. And although we all know days turn into weeks turn into months turn into years, most of us still resist change and the passage of time.
As I’ve grown older (especially after getting out of school) the years started to run together. I no longer had the markers of a new grade in school, etc. I think this was the beginning of “time flying.” The older people are, the more they seem to talk about how fast time goes. But as a child, time would drag on forever! Waiting on a birthday, Christmas, a vacation, etc. seemed excruciating!
So what is the appropriate approach to this New Year as an adult? I think it gives us a chance for a fresh start. No matter how old we get, if we are still willing to reevaluate our lives and grow, there are lists of things we would like to do different, or lists of things to accomplish, or lists of challenges to take on. There is the New Year’s Resolution, and I remember a few years back that the new thing to do for New Year’s was to find one word to apply to the New Year. I picked one. I can’t tell you what it was now.
There are many ways we can look at the New Year. This year, my plan is to be more conscious of how I spend my time. This could also be called “not wasting time.” I want to be aware that each choice I make each day leads me down a path to a goal. Hoping to have my craft room organized doesn’t get it done. Spending time doing it makes it happen. And that principal can be applied to many other things such as cleaning out my inbox of email, making that quilt I’ve been talking about, keeping the dishes done, or even blogging more often!
Not doing the things that we need to do seems like we’re getting by with something. But what the true result is: not having things as we would like them, not meeting goals, and regretting that we didn’t do it. In a nutshell: disappointment. Doing those things we should do is of great benefit to us.
I started this path when I realized what I do when I have a little time “to kill.” I grab my phone and play a game! Or look on Pinterest or FaceBook! This was highlighted by a friend (who is probably reading this, but I won’t call her out) that mentioned how much time she spends on her iPad. I get it! And it made me look at “screen time” in general.
Whether it is a computer, a phone, or the old fashioned TV, screens can suck our time. These modern conveniences need to be approached with a plan. Ever get on the computer and when you shut it and hour later, realize you didn’t do what you planned to do in the first place? Time blown with nothing to show for it. Part of this attraction for me is that there is nothing that we can’t know anymore! With the information superhighway, I don’t have to wonder how long a full sized alligator is or who played “Jim Bob” on the Waltons. The other day my 3 1/2 year old grandson told me he wanted to see a germ on my phone! (And I showed him one!) Even he knows that we don’t have to wonder about anything. I have finally realized there is no end to the wondering I can do, but at times “wondering” is pulling me away from “being productive.” Wondering can also be called “surfing” but most of what it turns out to be is counter-productive. Not working towards a worthy goal. If I want to move forward, if I want to actually make things instead of pinning them on Pinterest, or if I want to have real relationships instead of only through FaceBook, I need to be conscious of what I’m doing and have a plan.
So I made a list of things that can be time suckers (just to see it in print) and then made a list of productive things I can do in their place. This is for those moments when my mind freezes and I can’t think of a thing that I should do to be productive. Even if I want to sit and relax I can be organizing my recipes, scanning old photos, or doing some mending. Even if it requires a computer to do these things, I am being productive.
So I put a reminder on my phone to blog again in two weeks. Let’s see what happens. My phone is my personal assistant. It is a great tool for those of us that can’t rely on our memories. It reminds me of things I want to accomplish within a certain time frame. It is awesome that I can put a reminder weeks, months, or years in advance. Now, the biggest challenge is to obey the reminder when my phone tells me to do it. Speaking of which, I must close as my phone has been nagging me to do something since 9am this morning…..and this reminder won’t help me unless I actually DO it!