I have begun to keep a mental log of how I spend my time. I am not happy with what I have seen so far! There is far too much room for improvement. The amount of time wasted due to imbalance is high. The usefulness of many priorities is questionable. Too many must-do items lost to whims of the moment.
This is not a moment to beat myself up. It is time to embrace the reality of struggling to live, balance competing priorities, and maintain one’s inner energy. I cannot controls many of the forces that are pushing me this way and that. I can assess my response to life and take corrective action.
The reflection was triggered as I caught myself wondering about the choices another was making with his time. As I started to embrace my role as a critic, Life reminded me to look in the mirror! It was not a pretty sight. While it was easy to critic someone who is making choices that I would not make, it was a lot harder to assess myself. As I did, I found my compassion for others increasing. If I had so much room to improve, why or how could I be critical of their struggle?
The first thing I noticed when putting my plan into action is that it was easier to walk with others. The first step of putting the critic role to the side helped. Looking with compassion made a difference as well. Yet the greatest difference was in two choices. The first, getting more rest when I could, opened me up to be present when there was an opportunity to catch up with friends later. The second, taking time to meet with a competitor so that I could ask for help, created a scenario where we can both win in ways greater than we could on our own.
David reminds me to “Turn your back on sin; do something good. Embrace peace – don’t let it get away!” (Psalm 34.14) I see his advice as a framework for managing time.