Welcome to Live Free Creative, the podcast that provides inspiration and ideas for living a creative, adventurous, and intentional lifestyle. I’m your host Miranda Anderson, and I hope that each time you listen you feel a little bit more free to live your life exactly the way you want to live it.
Welcome back to the podcast, friends. Happy Thursday. If you’re listening on the day the show releases, it’s Thursday in case you didn’t know what day it is. We all are going through that a little bit from time to time right now.
I am your host, Miranda Anderson. This is Episode 89 of Live Free Creative podcast and the topic of today’s show is How To Always Have Enough Time.
Sounds juicy, right? I am so excited about this topic. It’s something I’ve been thinking about for weeks and probably in the very back of my head for months and years, because time is something that we all value so much and–especially right now in this weird quarantine, social isolation, homeschool distance learning, all of the things that are happening right now–I think our ideas about time have become really challenged.
I want to offer you some relief and a shift in perspective that will hopefully bring comfort and maybe some joy, maybe some levity back into your daily life as you realize that you do already have enough time for all the things that you want to do that really matter.
I’m going to share three specific ideas that I want you to consider when determining your time and I’m going to share all three of those after a quick segment called Peaks Of The Week.
Segment: Peaks Of The Week
The Peaks Of The Week that I am sharing in this episode are all online learning programs, digital based learning programs. If you have kids that are in school that are currently not in school, you likely are using some types of online learning programs.
In my home, I have discovered the absolute joy of giving the role of some of the entertainment and teaching and learning and games over to these programs that have been specially designed by experts and teachers and administrators to teach curriculums in a really seamless and fun way.
We’re using these online learning programs in addition to some of the things that are coming home from the school, but my three kids all have very different teachers with different personalities and different levels of ability with technology.
So my oldest, who’s in fifth grade, gets a weekly list of all of the links and all of the worksheets, all right on a home page that he can log into and basically do himself. He doesn’t do it seamlessly because he’s still learning how to be self sufficient, but he has this full availability of things that he can work on.
My other two kids, however, are sort of at the mercy of whatever I can come up with for them because their teachers aren’t super technologically savvy, which is totally okay. The district has this program, but it’s kind of piece-mealed and I haven’t wanted to spend my time organizing all of the different pieces into one solid plan.
And so I have discovered these incredible learning programs that basically do that for me. I want to share a couple of them here and I have a blog post I created with about a dozen.
Now, here’s the other thing about digital learning programs. A million and a half have come out of the woodwork in the last two months, right? So you’re hearing about digital learning programs that you had never heard of before and how do you know which ones you like and don’t?
So I went ahead and created a blog post with the online learning programs that I have personal experience with that my family is using. A lot of them I’ve paid for and think are totally worth it and that I’ve really been impressed with the way, not only the program runs, but the way my kids have reacted to it and love it.
The first two that I want to share are from the same family. One is ABC Mouse. This is an incredible learning program built for preschool to second graders and then the partner of that, the older sibling is Adventure Academy.
My youngest is in kindergarten right now, which feels like a really important year as far as learning basic reading fluency and some basic math fluency. This is what ABC mouse really shines in and they do it in this really approachable, fun learning path.
There’s all these activities and games and it directs the child from one activity to the next, so they build upon each other, but the child doesn’t necessarily recognize that it’s getting harder or that they’re learning more skills, which is amazing. It’s seamless.
My older kids started watching Plum play her ABC Mouse game and they were like, I want to play ABC Mouse, but it wasn’t the right age group for them, so I did a little searching, discovered that this same company has a 3rd-5th grade program and we went ahead and signed the boys up for that.
It is called Adventure Academy. It’s the same kind of system. Adventure Academy is a little bit more 3D. If your kids have any sort of experience with video games, it feels a lot more like a video game. They are fulfilling these quests that the teachers give them.
It’s been so fun because they’re learning and loving it and they’re enjoying the whole process. It feels really seamless. I have loved that and both of those programs right now are offering a month free: ABC Mouse and Adventure Academy. These links will take you directly to the offer where you can get your first month free, and then if you enjoy it you can sign up for the program.
We have bought a full year to both of them because I felt like it’s going to be valuable even when they go back to school and my kids are really loving it.
The third online app, this one’s an app. The other ones you can do on a desktop or laptop or an app. This one is specific to a phone. It’s an app called Moose Math.
Now, my older boys at school through their school program do a program called Khan Academy and that’s a math program that they enjoy and I was looking for something that was a little bit more beginner for Plum for the kindergarten/first grade level and Moose Math is so fun. It’s really cute.
It feels like a game and she absolutely loves playing it and it’s a free app which is incredible. So it has all of these learning principles and basic basic math guidelines for younger ones, which is just so fun for them to play and it will prepare her for when she’s doing Khan Math Academy at her school. But I love that it’s free and she can just pop on and do it for 10 or 15 minutes a day and I count that as math.
The next one I want to share is Hooked On Phonics. Now if you are a child of the eighties and nineties like me, you probably remember those commercials of “Hooked On Phonics worked for me!” I just love the throwback. As like a 37 year old woman who bought my daughter Hooked On Phonics and we’re totally using it.
One of the reasons that I enjoy this one is that it has a digital learning and a hands on learning component. It felt easier to me to follow this type of program then to figure out all the different things coming home from my particular school. So I’ve just sort of ditched what the school is sending and the district is sending and decided we’re going to do jump into learning to read and and reading fluency with this program.
Plum can do some of it online but they actually send you in the mail a hard copy book workbook and some flashcards each month and we are loving it. There are stickers that you can put in the program as you go. It’s still self-guided so she can do the app and then every day or two I can say, okay, let’s do a little bit of Hooked On Phonics and pull the workbook out and just basically do what the workbook says, which is awesome.
And that also has a free trial so you can sign up and figure out if you like it or not. The nice thing about this is it’s such an experimentation phase to see what you like and what you don’t like. So those are the three that I’m going to mention on the show, but there is about at least five or six more that are on my recent blog post online learning programs for elementary school kids and you can find that link right in the podcast shownotes at livefreecreative.co/podcast.
This is Episode 89 and you’ll find the link to that blog post or just go to the blog livefreecreative.co and search online learning programs and the whole list will come up. But there’s a bunch of programs that I found are doing free trials or a really inexpensive start or that are totally free. And so there’s really no risk to just getting started and seeing what works for you.
And I also explained in that blog post how I am really relying on using digital learning as a way to have my kids stay engaged because they’re having an affinity for screens anyway, which I think is great because technology is only going to continue to improve and I want them to be proficient with online learning.
I want them to be proficient with using screens and with using apps and with doing all of those things just as much as I want them to be able to enjoy spending time offline. And so I think a great combination and balance of the two has been really wonderful.
We do screen time and we do no screen time at our home and it’s been really nice and kind of like a relief as a mom to just recognize that this is something that I’m using very intentionally and I’m embracing it and that I don’t have any guilt around my kids spending time online learning because it’s something that I’m choosing for our family.
So I hope that that is helpful for you, that you can find some games if you have elementary kids that work well for your kids as well. And those, my friends are my Peaks Of The Week for today.
Main Topic: How To Have Enough Time
Okay, let’s jump into How To Have Enough Time. Doesn’t that sound nice? How to always have enough time. You’re like, I will raise my hand for that. I’d like to have enough time.
Here’s one of the things about time: we all have the same amount of time. Time is not something that we can change. We can’t add or take away from the time that we experience 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
This is the way that the world that we live in identifies time. The way we interact with time depends on our own perspective, our own ideas about what matters and what doesn’t matter. It relies heavily on our own reality when it comes to speed efficiency or our ability to produce or not produce.
All of those things are separate than time itself, but they determine some of our ideas about how we interact with time and there are definitely activities that sort of bend the way we experience time.
For example, things that when you’re doing them, time passes very quickly. A whole day can go by because of what you’re engaged in. You don’t feel those minutes and hours as much as with other activities that you feel every single second that goes by.
Neither one of those are straight good or bad. They just are different for each of us. I’m sure you can think about the types of activities that make time go really fast for you, the way you experience time is sped up versus activities that the way you experience time is really slowed down.
Something that I have thought was interesting in the last couple of months is observing how time is being experienced so differently right now. Even though so many of us are going through similar experiences of not going to restaurants, not going to sports games or lessons, not going to the mall or to go browse shopping out in the world. We aren’t sending our kids to school. We have our kids home.
There is, I’m sure, of course there’s circumstances of all those things are really different for all of us because your life is so individual, but a lot of us have this kind of, it’s maybe the first time in a very long time that so much of humanity has experienced some similar restrictions on our activities or recommendations around what we do.
Even though all of that feels really similar that we are relating to each other in that way, the way people are experiencing time is so different. A lot of people I’ve heard say they have so much more time because they’re not going to activities, because they’re not going into the office anymore. They feel like time really slowed down during the quarantine and they have so much time, so they’re using it to organize their house or to learn a new skill or to work on a book or to dejunk their garage.
On the other hand, I know some of you are rolling your eyes because you’ve seen those people too and you’re like, who are these people? I feel like I have so much less time because my kids are home all the time. I have to take this whole additional role upon myself of being the teacher or the distance educator. I don’t have any time to myself. I don’t know how I’m getting anything done because my time, my days are passing so quickly. I don’t even know what’s happening.
If you are like me, you probably vacillate a little bit between the two perspectives. Some days you feel like the day is lasting forever. It’s 10:00 AM when you look at your watch and you feel like you’ve already lived a two week long period of time and some days you get to bedtime and look back and it was like a flash, a blur. You don’t even know what happened.
These different perspectives when it comes to the idea of time are present even when we’re not in a global crisis. And even when we’re not in a quarantine. The different perspectives and the different feelings of how we interact with time exists always.
And in this show, I want to share three different ways that you can play with those just with introducing some new ideas into your head around how to experience time so that you feel like you have enough of it.
I want to introduce some principles around how we experience time that can create a feeling of abundance and allow us to step back into the driver’s seat to have a little bit more control with intention around how we choose to spend our time. That in turn allows us to have the perspective of feeling like we have enough time because we are choosing what to do with it and we’re ignoring the things that we have decided to not use our time on.
So just as a baseline, I’m gonna go back to that first principle that we’re just going to acknowledge as truth, that we all have the same amount of time and that nothing we do can change the actual ticking of the clock. That is just a given.
So instead of trying to manipulate time by, you know, hypothetically adding hours to the day or skipping through something, we’re going to work with the traditional construct of time that exists right now in our world and what we’re going to instead focus on changing is our thoughts and ideas surrounding how we interact with the time that we have.
Perspective, Process, and Pace
The three ideas that I’m going to share with you in this episode are perspective, process and pace. I love the alliteration. I love the rule of thirds. So we’ve got three ideas. They all start with P and I’m going to add an additional P because it’s really important that we recognize that each of these things is personal, so personal perspective, personal process and personal pace.
Those are the ideas that we can engage with and play with and even manipulate as needed to feel an abundance of time in our daily lives.
Let’s start with personal perspective. This idea means that you get to choose how you look at the time that exists in your life. There is no true limit. There are really no true boundaries around our time except for those that we placed there or that because of our job or the commitments that we make that are then added.
For example, if you have a deadline to turn something in to your boss on Friday, that is a deadline that has been placed there by your agreement to complete this work. It’s important to recognize, this may seem super basic, but I think it’s important to recognize that there is not a true barrier placed on that Friday afternoon by the universe.
The barrier, that deadline, is simply an agreement. It’s a social agreement that you’ve made because of the job that you have to turn something in. Something incredible to recognize is that those things can be fluid. There are absolutely consequences to that, but understanding that we also have control.
In Episode 12 about Goals vs. Self-imposed Deadlines, I share a lot about this idea and in the example I’m giving here, I’m talking about a deadline for work, but even if you didn’t finish it on time by that deadline, your ability to finish the project doesn’t end because the deadline has passed in most cases.
Now, if you’re just going to be a great employee, you probably want to give someone a heads up before the deadline has passed so that you can extend it, but we often feel like extending deadlines is like the worst thing in the world and as much as possible it’s great to do things within their prescribed deadlines, especially when there’s a commitment or a contract involved.
However, all of this is perspective. It’s something that we can choose and it’s also something that we can change. Now it’s a little trickier with deadlines and timelines that are imposed by other people.
Where we often, especially as women, get really stressed out is by deadlines that we have imposed upon ourselves, and then we hold ourselves to these deadlines that are totally made up in our own brains and then we feel bad about them if we haven’t completed whatever it was that we thought that we would complete or should complete in that amount of time.
Again, I did an entire episode about this Episode 12, but I think it’s worth mentioning again because right now especially so many of us are writing lists a mile long of all the things we think we should do and then we’re not doing all of them.
Whether because we simply have put too many things on the list that it’s physically impossible or because we put a bunch of stuff on the list and then we don’t want to do any of them and so we don’t, and then we hold ourselves to feeling bad about the things that we didn’t accomplish because we quote unquote didn’t have enough time. But we have all the same amount of time, and we are simply adding more things arbitrarily to our plates than are physically able to be finished within the timeframe that we set.
What if you didn’t have a timeline on your to do list? Certainly changes the way you feel about it, right? What if you didn’t hold yourself to a certain number of daily or weekly tasks, but you allowed yourself to accomplish things when you can accomplish them with meaning and with positive feelings and not being stressed out about it all?
One simple example that I want to share about perspective is that I used to feel like I wanted to and it wasn’t always that I wanted to as often that I felt like I should have all of the dishes loaded and cleaned up before I went to bed every night. The first 10 years of my marriage, I imposed a bedtime dishes deadline upon myself.
There were lots of days that I didn’t want to do the dishes at night. I was super tired and so I would do them with frustration and resentment and stress and I would tell myself this is the time that I have to do this and sometimes I would even think, gosh, I don’t have enough time to sleep to get a full night’s sleep because I have to do the dishes before bed or I would think I have to do the dishes before I go to sleep because I don’t have time during the day to do them because I’m so busy with the kids.
Now, a change of perspective here, remember we’re on perspective, the amount of time that I have doesn’t change. One day flows into the next flows into the next and at some point in the last several years, I recognized that I didn’t have to do the dishes ever, let alone before bed every night.
There were consequences of not doing the dishes. And that would mean that either we wouldn’t have dishes to use or that we’d be kind of scraping gross food off of them before we reused them. Or maybe I didn’t want to take the toll on the environment of using paper plates every single day.
But there are ways it is possible to never ever, ever do dishes. There are ways to do that, but I in weighing that as a choice, recognize that no, I do in fact want to reuse the same dishes that we have that we enjoy, that we like that are great, they work well, but I do not have any specific set timeframe on when they have to be clean or even that I am the one who has to do them.
I always had the time. I just didn’t always want to use my time on that. Sometimes I wanted to use the time that I had after I put my kids to bed to snuggle with Dave and watch a show instead of doing the dishes and that’s totally okay.
I had the time. I chose to use it differently.
These days I definitely don’t have that self-imposed deadline anymore and once in a while I’ll get a little bit annoyed by a pile of dishes in the sink, but I catch myself before I have the thought or right as the thought comes up. I don’t have enough time to do the dishes.
I catch myself and I think I have plenty of time to do the dishes, but I’m going to use the time that I have right now on something else. I’m going to go play outside and we’ll go taking the kids on a walk. I’m going to choose to leave the dishes there because I’m using the time that I have to do something else. That is such an empowering feeling to recognize I have the time, I have plenty of time and I’m choosing to do something else with it and that’s okay.
The other thing that’s been so interesting about the perspective, and I’m just going to go with my dishes example for a little while, is I started to recognize that I don’t always feel like doing the dishes late at night because I’m tired. I want to wind down, my energy has run out for the day.
When I leave the dishes overnight in the sink, for example, and I mentally prepare myself to wake up to a kitchen full of dirty dishes, I feel so much more like doing the dishes in the morning when we’re doing breakfast and I can get to them and I have more energy and the sun’s out and the birds are chirping in the backyard and I can watch the kids jump on the trampoline through the window while I scrub and I can turn on some music and it just feels like such a better time for me.
So this is where my personal perspective comes in that I can willingly leave my dishes in the sink at night. I have plenty of time and I’ll get to them at a different time when I feel better about it. And that is such a simple personal perspective shift that has helped me feel like I have plenty of time to do all the things that I need to do.
One thing that may be lacking when you tell yourself you don’t have enough time is personal perspective. The understanding that you get to choose what you do with your time all the time and there is no true deadline or limit until you die. That is when your time runs out.
And if you are a spiritual person who believes in an afterlife, then even death isn’t the true end of the time that you have. So each little thing that you choose to do may have its own certain amount of time that it takes.
You are the one who gets to choose with your perspective and with your values and with your intention, which of those things you’re going to fill your day with and there are some better and some worse for you.
And it’s up to you to experiment with that and decide what works, what makes you feel good, what makes you feel good not only as you’re doing it, but sometimes what makes you feel good to have it done and you want to go through the work and some of the tough feelings of like, Oh, I don’t really like this but I’m going to do it because I know how good it makes me feel.
Those are all things that are available to you, so when you have the thought, I don’t have enough time, I want you to remember that you get to choose that there is no true limit and that it’s all up to you how you spend the time that you have, but you have plenty of time. You get to choose what you do with it.
Okay, let’s move on to number two. Idea number two is personal process.
This is such an interesting way to think about things. We live in a society that puts all of the gold stars on the finish line in almost every single thing that we do. We are rewarded at the end. We’re rewarded as the boxes checked. As the finish line is crossed, as the assignment turned in and graded, we are not living in a society that celebrates process. We celebrate accomplishment.
This really works our idea about time because most of us don’t believe that time spent in the process is as valuable as time spent in the finishing or the checking off or accomplishing. In fact, so much so, that a lot of us won’t even begin to engage in a process because the finish line feels too far away.
An example that I have of this is playing the guitar, which is funny because just a couple of episodes ago I shared how excited I was about the free three months of Fender online. I’ve done it a few times and I remembered why I am not very good at playing the guitar and why I might not ever.
I mean, who knows, but I might not ever be really good at playing the guitar because I have such a hard time with the process of learning. I want to be good at playing the guitar. I want to be proficient at it. I want to be able to sit down and strum out a song and sing along bedtime stories or campfire tunes. I want that, but I don’t really want to strum for 20 minutes a day doing exercises to strengthen my fingers and I don’t really want to learn all of the notes.
I don’t really want to spend my time in the process because even I, and I’m recognizing this as totally ridiculous, but here I am, I don’t believe that the process is as valuable as the result. If I was already good at the guitar, I am almost sure that I would spend more time playing it, but because I’m not good at it yet, I don’t want to learn.
Isn’t that ridiculous and kind of silly? But this is where process is so important when it comes to time because you can’t have one without the other. Spending time learning the guitar is the only way that I get to the point that I am good at playing the guitar. The time that I spend on the process is more valuable than the time that I spent on the result because I cannot get to the result without the process.
We have been feeling this so hard in our house when it comes to our distance learning with one of my children in particular, he must get it from his mom. He does not really want to learn. He wants to know. He doesn’t want to do the steps to understand. He just wants to know everything and here’s the thing about learning: It is the only way to get to knowing.
You have to do the process in order to get to the result. When my son is looking for shortcuts to the end, he’s looking for shortcuts to finishing the assignment without the learning part. We’ve said, oh, I don’t know how many times in the last couple months I’ve said: I don’t actually care what you learn except that I want you to learn how to learn. I’m totally unconcerned with the score you get on your test. I want you to use this time that we’re home and learning together and studying together to develop a high tolerance of the process of learning. It’s okay to not finish the assignment if you are engaged in the process of reading and taking notes and understanding as you go.
I am trying to flip the script for him as I do it for myself, that time spent in process is just as valuable as time spent in result. This is something that I’ve been talking about in nuanced ways since the beginning of this podcast.
In one of my very first episodes I said over and over, it was kind of like the theme of the episode. The purpose is the process. The purpose of all of the time that we have is the process of learning and growing and developing relationships and changing and becoming people becoming better, becoming amazing.
We are good enough right now and the purpose of continuing to live is to continue to improve along the way. If you’ve been thinking to yourself that you don’t have enough time to get in shape or you don’t have enough time to read books, even though you really want to, you don’t have enough time to read the books. Or you don’t have enough time to spend planting a garden. Or you don’t have enough time to learn a new skill. Or you don’t have enough time for so many of these things, especially things that have to do with your personal progression, your personal investment in becoming the person that you hope to be in the future.
Remember this one, that the process is valuable. You’re not wasting time in the process.
Spending five minutes on a walk every day as a first step to getting back in shape and feeling like you have some stamina and you have a healthy, strong body. Those five minutes or ten minutes on a walk are absolutely worth your time. Even though it doesn’t feel like they contribute to the result, they are the purpose.
The process is the purpose. You cannot have one without the other. You can’t get to that final result without walking the steps of the process. This one, when we really start to internalize it and understand it, it brings such peace into our lives because we can begin to recognize all of the things that we do every day as part of some process and we will never get to the end of the day again and think I didn’t do anything worthwhile because we’ll recognize that even just staying in bed, resting for a day, is part of the process of learning to take care of ourselves.
If we spent the whole day taking care of our kids and playing on the floor doing Legos, even if it’s not what we wanted to do, but that’s what was required of us or, or what we decided to spend our time on, but nothing else got done. The dishes didn’t get done. The laundry didn’t get done. We didn’t launch anything for work. We didn’t finish any essays. We didn’t finish a chapter of the book we’re writing. We just literally played Legos and watch Netflix all day.
Those things are part of the process of parenting. They’re part of the process of discovery. They’re part of the process of learning how we want to be in the world and when we recognize the beauty and the power of the process, we start to be able to reclaim our time as our own.
The last idea that I want to share with you about how to have enough time is really important. This one is personal pace.
Do you know what pace is? Pace is basically the speed at which you decide to do something, how fast or slow you walk or run or swim or read.
Your personal pace is sort of like your personal speed, whether it’s fast or slow, and I will tell you that depending on the time of the month, if you listen to Episode 86, if you’re a female who menstruates and you listen to Episode 86 with April Davis about flowing with our seasons, that is such an important episode to capitalize on how our pace may need to be different depending on the week of our menstrual cycle and how we can use that information and awareness to really create some power in our lives.
I love that episode. I think it was really important and I know it was like mind blowing for so many of you. Our personal pace may vary depending on our hormone level. It may vary depending on the amount and number and ages of children that we have at home or not. It may depend on our work, the type of work we do, whether or not we enjoy it, the amount of stress we have in our lives at different times.
Our pace is ever changing. Our pace is always personal and what we run into–the block mental block that we run into when it comes to time and personal pace–is that we forget that personal pace exists and we assume that we are “supposed to” finish or accomplish or check things off at the same rate as other people.
Many of us will have a specific set of people who we use as our guidelines. Maybe it’s your sister or your friends from your book group. Maybe it’s a stranger on the internet that you use as your pacer.
Have you, if you’ve ever run a running race, especially a longer one, they usually have people who are like pacers. They’ll wear a shirt and maybe even hold a flag that says what pace that they’re going to stay at to that person you can use as your guideline of, okay, I want to run a nine minute mile and so I’m going to stay nearby.
The person who is actually tracking that, they’re running a nine minute mile so I can stay on pace. Whether or not you recognize it, you probably have a couple pacers in your life and maybe different ones for different areas of your life, different aspects.
You rely on that person on Instagram to determine whether or not you’re wearing the most fashionable and up-to-date clothes. You rely on your neighbor down the street to determine whether or not you are doing enough schoolwork with your kids or building a cool enough Playhouse in the backyard. You rely on your sister and your mom to determine whether or not you are in shape enough or whether or not you’re eating or exercising the right amount.
We have these pacers in our lives that we use to feel good or bad about our own performance when it comes to pace and speed. The way that you can determine if you have some of those subconscious pacers out there in the world is if you’ve ever told yourself or thought to yourself: I’m really behind. I’m really behind on this project. My daughter’s really behind in reading. I’m really behind on my weight loss for the year. I’m really behind on my blog or my business. I’m really behind when it comes to understanding how to parent my kids. I’ve got teenagers and I’ve still have never really learned how to help them interact and so I’m super behind as a parent.
Other thoughts you may have had are: I should know this by now. I’m old enough to understand this. I should know this by now or something like we should already have bought a house. We’re 40 years old. How do we not own our own house? We should have already done this. I should have already learned this. I should already know this.
There are so many different thoughts that indicate to us a subconscious pace out there that exists outside of us that we are trying to keep up with, and then we’re basing our own ideas about our performance and our worth as people, as women, as mothers, as humans, by a pacer that–I will tell you right now, friends–is not yours. Because you are never behind.
You do not not know the things that you should have known already because what you know is exactly what you’re supposed to know and what you’re learning right now. This is the exact right time for you to be learning it.
Fast and slow is all relative and you are the only one living your life. You are the only one in your lane. You’re not in a race. This is just you living your life day by day, step by step, and you can’t ever be behind in your own race. You are where you are and where you are is perfect.
In Episode 33, I discussed this idea in a little bit more detail and if this is resonating with you, I admonish you. Can I please, please use the word admonish in my podcast, I admonish you to listen to Episode 33 about time and seasons.
Some things take more time for you than others. Some seasons of your life, your pace is going to be way slower than at others and you may look back and wonder. I think a lot of us are doing this right now. Gosh, I really miss the way things used to be three months ago when I understood the pace of my life, when I had a little bit of a rhythm and a system for it and I could wrap my mind around it.
Everything feels so different now, whether faster or slower, things just feel different. Something changed about the pace, but that’s okay because you are your own pacer. The pace you are going is right for you.
There was a time years ago, gosh, how many years ago? Maybe Plum wasn’t born yet, so seven or eight years ago, I was training for my first triathlon. I was living in the DC area. I had run a couple half marathons and really loved those and I decided to train for a triathlon. I had the running down, I had the biking down, but I had to learn how to swim. I mean, I knew how to swim, but I had to learn how to swim a long distance.
There are a couple of funny things that happened as I started to train for this triathlon, the first is that I would burn out on the swim so fast, I could do four laps. And then I was so tired and I thought, how am I ever going to be able to swim more than this?
And so I asked a friend who was a triathlete to come in and see if she could coach me a little bit on my swimming. And I said, okay, I’m going to start. I’m going to swim four laps and you can tell me what I’m doing and whatever.
So I swam four laps and I came up, you know, hit the wall, came up, panting, and she was laughing so hard, she was crying. I was like, wait, is it really that bad? What’s going on? I grew up swimming. I learned when I was young, I was on the swim team, you know when I was in elementary school at the local gym, so I was a little worried.
But she just laughed and said: No wonder you can’t swim more than four laps at a time. You are going so fast. She said: You’re sprinting. There’s no way that you can sprint a distance swim. You have to pace yourself.
And I had this light bulb moment and I thought pace myself. I understood pace when it came to running and biking because those were things that I had trained for and been familiar with. But I didn’t ever think about swimming more than just fast in everything that I had ever done in swimming. I mean, I guess when I was recreationally swimming in a Lake or something, I wouldn’t swim fast.
But when I was in a pool swimming laps, I had only ever understood that I was supposed to swim as fast as I could. As soon as I started to slow my swim down, I could swim forever. I mean not really forever but way longer. Instead of swimming for a lap, I could swim for 20 or 30 minutes without doing any additional training because I slowed myself down enough that I could keep up with myself.
There may be areas of your life that you’re really good at feeling like, Oh, this is personal and the way that I’m doing it as just right for me and there may be blind spots where there are areas of your life that you feel chronically behind or chronically disappointed in yourself because you don’t think you’re doing it fast enough or that you haven’t quite gotten to where you think you should be by now.
I want you to just take a good look at that because there is not anywhere that you should be right now except for where you are. Your pace is just perfect. It can be adjusted, it can be learned, you can slow down or you can speed up. But all of that has to come from your own self deciding that you want to go a little faster or go a little slower, not because you’re trying to keep up with someone else.
Now my other swimming story that is kind of funny I think it’s around the same time I was training for this triathlon. I would go to the pool a couple times a week to get my distance in and work on being able to swim for a long time and feel good about it.
And one day I remember someone hopped into the pool right next to me and was swimming pretty similar pace to mine and so we ended up being right next to each other, each other for a while. And I decided that I wanted to pretend like I was racing this person. I don’t remember if it was a boy or a girl or older, young, I don’t remember, but I just remember I decided personally that this swimmer and I were going to be in a race.
So I started pacing up and swimming a little faster and a little faster and a little faster and the interesting thing was that as I did this, the other swimmer, whether consciously or not, started to follow my lead and pace up and tried to swim a little faster and a little faster, so we stayed even though I started to consciously increase my speed because I wanted to train up this person subconsciously or consciously started to swim as fast as I did and started to match my pace.
This went on for several laps until I paced myself out. I was too, I got too tired because I had been trying to race this person who just matched me and then I got tired and burned out and I stopped and the other person didn’t stop swimming. They kept swimming and so we never had a conversation about whether or not they had acknowledged that I was racing them.
Some of you may do the same thing when you’re driving on the car in the car that you kind of find a car that you are at a stoplight with and then you kind of speed up at the same speed they do and if they go a little fast, do you feel like, well I’ll go a little faster and they go a little faster and I’ll go a little faster and you w I mean this is so natural and it’s really subconscious that we, we kind of just take on the pace of what’s near us.
Sometimes whether or not we’re thinking about it and then we judge our performance based on our ability to keep up or not. This idea of a personal pace lends so much comfort and peace when it comes to thinking about having enough time because the truth is you have enough time, you just need to match your expectations to your own pace, your personal pace and stop relying on other people’s pace as your baseline idea of what’s correct. Because there isn’t an across the board correct way to do anything.
A couple episodes ago I shared about having lots of right choices. It’s right to decide to go a little faster into pace yourself up in some areas. It’s right to slow down in some areas. It’s absolutely right to stop doing some things that aren’t worth your time to you personally that you choose with your values and your perspective that there are areas, entire sections of your life that you want to just not spend any time, energy or money on because they don’t matter to you.
I’ve decided for myself that I am no longer going to ever think that I don’t have enough time. I’m always going to recognize that I have enough time and I’m going to consider how I can make that possible through my personal perspective, my personal process and my personal pace.
Maybe I have enough time because I extend my deadline or I decide that I no longer want to meet that deadline. Maybe I changed my perspective on what actually matters to me and disregard the things that don’t.
I don’t have to have enough time for things that don’t matter. I have enough time to do all the things that do and I have enough time to allow myself to learn and those around me to learn and grow through our personal process. I will always have enough time when I recognize that my personal pace is my own, that I don’t have to compare to how fast or slow anyone else is doing anything.
My business is going to grow at its own pace just on its own little track. And the speed at which it grows is perfect and sometimes it will grow on the outside and sometimes it will grow deep roots that no one else can see except for me. And sometimes it might have to hibernate for a little while. I might have to put it on the back burner and say there are other things that I want to use, this incredible abundant time that I have on right now. And so I’m going to stop some things so that I can begin and focus on others.
We have so much freedom that we don’t recognize. We have so much freedom in the way that we choose to live in the things that we choose to spend our time on, our energy, on our money, on our resources of attention and focus. It’s all up to you. You can always have enough time. You can make that possible for yourself by making choices that make it possible.
I want to finish the episode with a poem that I found online. Yes, Google searching poetry about time you can do. That’s how you find them, friends, the good ones. I really do love this poem and I think that it’s apropos for this episode, so let me share this poem with you. By Becca Lee.
They say time heals all wounds,
but whilst it may dull the pain
and blunt the edges
it cannot heal wholly on its own.
You, my dear, you must work with time.
You must tend your own wounds,
bandage the past
and stitch together your future.
Time alone is not enough,
but you my dear, you are.
This is just a fun, sweet and simple reminder that you are enough right now where you are. What you’re doing is just right for now. You can always have enough time if you have personal perspective, you enjoy the process, and you live life at your own pace.
Thank you so much for tuning into this week’s episode. I hope that these ideas help you recognize the abundance of time that can exist in your life with a little bit of perspective. You get to choose what matters and what you use your time on. There are no true boundaries. There are no true limits. There is no exact right way to do any of it. You’re doing a great job just as you are.
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Live Free From Clutter
The last thing I want to let you know is that the doors are opening again for a second spring session of Live Free From Clutter. This feels like the just right time to dive in and do some deep work regarding intentional living and developing an intentional mindset.
My five week course is going to begin on May 11th and run through June 15th. It includes a weekly audio lesson with a workbook and then a weekly live webinar that sort of turns into a really fun group coaching session where you can bring your questions and ideas and we can talk over the things that are working or not working in your intentional living journey.
If you would like to register and claim your seat at Live Free From Clutter, you can head to the blog livefreecreative.co and click on the link right at the top that it says Clutter Course. It’s where you can sign up to spend five weeks resetting your mindset and resetting your heart, recognizing what matters most to you and creating space for that in your life, while I help you all along the way.
Thank you so much for being here. I can’t wait. Oh my gosh. I can’t wait for next week’s episode. You are going to love it so much. Tune in. I’ll talk to you then. Bye. Bye.