I have such excellent and reasonable intentions. "This summer," I think to myself in the spring, "I will gradually clean up some trouble areas in the house. Nothing dramatic, no no no: it won't be days and days of all-day cleaning while the children care for themselves like little savages. No, I will tackle it reasonably: ten or fifteen minutes a day will really add up."
And here we are nearly halfway through July, and what has my progress been? Well, I did put away a few things that were stacked on the dining room table. That was the first day, when motivation ran hot through my veins. And I've managed to be consistent on another summer goal, which was to have the older two kids do some reading and some writing each weekday. But day after day goes by, and the house is not gradually improving as I'd imagined it would.
This makes me think of a question CP asked recently. She wanted to know how I fit all this in: all the blogs! the Facebook! the Twitter! the baking! Plus, of course, the five squalling children.
This is the most FA of all the Q I get, and so for all of you who are wondering the same thing, I'd like to refer you to All & Sundry for what I consider to be the Perfect Answer to This Question (it comes from this Q&A post):
I kind of want to be all Superwoman on this question and say, oh, I just set my alarm for 4 AM, but truthfully, I make time for the things I love. Which is to say I don’t always make time for cooking, cleaning, or scooping dog crap. Also, Riley goes to bed at–thank you, Jebus–6:45 nearly every night. That leaves quite a bit of time for ignoring the laundry while I sit, clackety-clacking, at my laptop.
Time, like money, is currency: everyone has a certain amount of it to spend. I think it's EASY to make time for writing and reading, because I LOVE writing and reading. I get huge rewards in terms of satisfaction and personal happiness from the give-and-take communication of blogging---and, by extension, from things like Facebook and Twitter, which give me more of that. When I see time, I pounce eagerly: I grab those gleaming coins and shove them into the slot.
When I feel strapped for time is when I think about all the photos I need to label and put into albums. Or when I think of all the movies I haven't seen, all the TV shows I would like to have seen so I'd know what everyone is talking about. All the albums I haven't listened to. All the books I haven't read yet, with more being published every second. The vet appointments I should be making. The craft projects I could be doing with the kids. The ripped shorts I should be sewing. The recipes I could be trying. The volunteer work I could be doing. The clutter I should be purging. "Where oh where do you find the TIME?," I might say to you, if I saw your clean basement and your kids' cool artwork.
Except I would NOT say that, because I understand about time. And about how we give spending priority not to what's "fun," necessarily, but to what gives us satisfaction, and to what we think is important.