Monday, 2 September 2013

Making Time

Pretty sure I need this above my bed! (etsy)


It has been WAY too long since I updated. I almost forgot how to start a new post! (I literally have about 30 unfinished"drafted" posts and this is the first to make it through in almost 4 months) . Working so much has been very, very demanding. I love my job, but the hours, not to mention the night shifts, are slowly starting to kill me (just a little bit). 

Life is good. It's just been challenging. 

For the past few weeks, I've been trying to figure out how to make this schedule work for me. Or rather, how to do the things that everyone keeps insisting I have to make time for. I've heard variations on this theme a lot

"You have to MAKE the time."

I've been told I need to make the time to cook healthier food, exercise, get more sleep, apply for jobs, be social, go on dates, network, and spend more time with my family.

Sometimes, I just want to say that if I had the ability to make time, I would quit my job. (Because I would obviously be a wizard and would head straight to Hogwarts). Truthfully, I know that everyone means well, but it can be very difficult to "just get up just a few minutes earlier" when I already wake up at 4AM. 

This isn't one of those posts where I talk about how I've figured out the answer to making more time, or prioritizing. This is more of the "I'm trying to figure it out, and here's what I've tried." :

Sleeping less
Definitely not the answer. The  benefits of sleep are pretty widely known, so I won't get into that. I'm still not sleeping as much as I should, but I haven't cut back in an attempt to get more done, either. 

Coffee:
Coffee is great. Coffee actually significantly improves my mood, which I never expected, but it does. Coffee is not a replacement for sleep though, and it doesn't save me any time. It is delicious and has become an awesome reminder for me to take a minute and just breathe, at work or on my commute or on a day off that I inevitably try to fill with all the things. 

Online Dating: 
In an attempt to be more social/meet new people/make sure I'm getting the most out of my 20s, I signed up for Match.com, thinking that it would be the perfect way to meet people, while saving time. 
Well, it turns out that online dating actually takes a lot of work, and, surprisingly, it requires one to sit in front of a computer. Which, after doing for 12+ hours a day, 4-5 days out of the week, is exactly the last thing I want to do when I get home. 
The GTA is also really big. Like, really big. So the second last thing I want to do on my days off is spend more time in my car, where I've just spent approximately 10 hours of my week getting to/from work. 
Online dating still may prove itself to be AWESOME. A time/sanity saver, it is not. 

Exercise: 
Really, I know I'm supposed to be getting at least 150 minutes a week of exercise, and I don't come even close. Like, I think there are some weeks when I get zero minutes of purposeful exercise. 
I tend to be really ridiculous about making goals, in that if I don't think I can meet the best possible goal, I don't even want to try. So, if I can't hit 150 minutes of exercise a week, I won't set a goal to get, say, 100 minutes of exercise a week. Because in my head, it's not good enough. Even though it's WAY WAY better than zero minutes, right? 
Anyway, I finally told myself that I had to try to get an hour of purposeful exercise a week. Usually this just consists of me walking down the street while I talk to my dad/grandmother/best friend on the phone. It's not going to win me any fitness competitions (and some weeks I don't even hit an hour), but it at least quells a little of the guilt I've been feeling. 

Silver Linings:
There have been a few less-than-ideal changes at work lately. While my job is (relatively) safe, my future opportunities here are a lot more limited now. I'll probably be bumped back down to part-time in the New Year, and I've been really stressing about it. Then I came across this article, and the last line really got to me: 
"I edited a great story for XX once about Dutch women in Holland and how the Dutch government is desperately trying to get women in Holland to work full-time, and unlike other places, they add incentives, they’ll do anything to get women to work full-time, and they don’t want to. And it’s not just women with children – like the answers they give on forms are like, “I want to go to a yoga class,” “I want to go to coffee with a friend.” And we laugh at that, but there are worse things. There are worse things than being a Dutch woman at a yoga class at 3:00 on a Thursday."
And it made me realize -- there are worse things than having time to go to yoga. Or learn french. Or sleep in and drink coffee and go on long walks. When I was working part time at the beginning of the year, I wasn't saving money like I am now. But I was able to pay rent, and go to the occasional movie, and I wasn't hurting, is what I mean. Maybe, going back to part time is exactly what I need to figure out which direction I feel like going next. 
So, silver linings. I need to keep looking for them. 

I would very, very much love to hear how other people prioritize things like sleeping and exercise while balancing school or work or children. Any tips?