My schedule feels completely full at the moment. Being honest, to you and myself, it is a little bit more full than I can handle. Mostly this is because I’ve added things to it. I’ve added and added, but not taken much away to make time for these new things in my schedule. I feel called to write, to improve my musical aptitude, and to share joy with others, but I’m either not removing unnecessary things from my life or actively choosing to spend too long doing things that are unhealthy time sinks.
We make time for what we want to make time for.
This statement is one that rings true for me every day. It is difficult to remind ourselves that if we really want to do something it might mean sacrificing something else. Time is a finite resource, one we can never get back once it is used. (At least until a means to travel through time is invented this will be true.) Therefore we have to be intelligent with how we spend our time.
For at least the past twelve I have played ultimate frisbee at least twice a week, for a minimum of one hour each time. Of course there have been injuries which meant taking time off to recover, and a small number of holidays that were not based around playing ultimate frisbee. Apart from these ‘pauses’ it was never an option in my mind to choose not to play in the local leagues if I was able to. This was a choice. However automatic the habit of saying yes to playing ultimate became it was still a choice. Only during the Covid-19 pandemic have I started to think that not playing ultimate, at least for a time, would be a choice I could be comfortable with. For half of each year I committed eight hours to playing and practicing, not including the several weekend tournaments I played. That doesn’t seem an awfully large amount, but with full-time work and hours required for sleeping effectively that eight hours certainly eats into available time.
The ultimate I play at the moment equates to four hours on the court. Factoring in travel time to and from the venue, the amount of time this choice commits me to is between six to nine hours. I have been ok with this for almost all the time I have played ultimate. Even when struggling deeply with depression I had been ok with this choice. Even when getting to games and practices seemed the most difficult thing I could do, I knew it was good for my mental health so I did it.
A new season has arrived in my life. Ultimate is no longer the biggest boon for a healthy mind for me. It is still useful, as regular exercise is for anyone, but my brain does not automatically think of the answer ‘yes’ when asked to join a team. I want to spend more time writing. In the past three months I have entered two short story competitions with my dad. Though stressful at times, as any project we care about can be, it has been great to spend that time together. This has encouraged me to improve my craft and keep writing. Thus I am inching the first draft of my first book ever closer to completion. I have recorded almost all the music for the first EP I aim to release into the world.
It has been difficult to fit these things around the time constraints of ultimate, work, sleep, church, and bible study. As I have increased the time spent on playing music at church, reading scripture, praying, writing, and practicing the guitar, I had not removed anything to manage this. I am realising to maintain good mental and physical health I need to balance my time. This includes choosing taking sufficient time to rest, not doing anything which has the potential to drain my energy. No video games, no ultimate frisbee, no playing guitar, no writing. Deep breaths, a comfortable position, relaxing rain sounds, a restful book, listening to God.
Make time for what you want to make time for.
What do you want to make time for? How does your schedule look at the moment? Would you benefit from dropping a few things, even just for a few weeks? How could you manage this?
I pray you actively find what you need this week. Peace to you, dear friends.