28 May 2014
Passionately Using Spare Time
Whenever I have any spare time or know I will be sitting waiting somewhere (like a doctor's office, the car during a long drive, waiting to pick someone up or meet someone, etc.) I try to think of how I can use that time to do something I'm passionate about. It's so easy to just numb out and let those bits and pieces of time slip through our fingers. But when I started adding up those bits of time they became a significant part of my week.
Lately I've been listening to inspiring talks and podcasts while driving. I arrive inspired and better for the time I sat in traffic instead of bitter and frustrated. I carry a small bag of books and a notebook with me when we make long drives and I am riding shotgun. I have a nice time thumbing through books filled with inspiring design photos, enjoy reading a great novel, or sketching out ideas that are floating around in my head. It makes the time go by so quickly -- and keeps me from being a "backseat driver." (Not that I would ever do that...wink.)
When plans get cancelled at the last minute, I think about how I can use that time I had blocked out to feed my passions. When plans changed suddenly a couple of weekends ago, we decided to make Saturday ART DAY and we chose three kinds of art we could do. We had such a great time that we only ended up doing one on Saturday and one on Sunday. We fed our creative souls and had a lot of fun. Such a great escape from normal routines too.
Sometimes I sit down at our keyboard and try to learn a simple song. Playing the piano is so calming to me now. Wish I'd done more with piano lessons growing up. (Every mother in America is saying "I told you so" right now. Sorry I didn't listen.)
Instead of just numbly turning on the TV I look for things that will help me feel and enjoy more the passion of my life. I'm enjoying things I bought for myself more: books, craft supplies, organizational tools, electronics, workout equipment, and all those good things we think we're going to use that can become just meaningless clutter if we don't use them.
I am also much more conscientious about how out family spends our bits and pieces of spare time. I want those moments to be meaningful. I am trying to encourage more time on our bed talking and listening, more thinking about and doing creative things, more local adventures (like our nighttime beach outing last week) and taking advantage of all the events for families in our area. I think this is making our family life a little more memorable.
I am really surprised at how much more I am enjoying life since I started making more deliberate and fulfilling decisions about how I use my time, even in five minute increments. The longer I live the more I continue to see that life's joys are in the in between times, the little moments.
What are your favorite ways to spend small segments of time? I'd love to hear. I am always looking for new ideas and as always learn so much from you.