I felt pretty crappy this morning. It’s Friday and I felt like I was running out of time. I still had a loooong list of things I hadn’t got done this week.
I also had my comparison goggles on, looking at all the things other people were doing and I’m not. The chatter was ugly and I was demanding answers.
Where did all my time go? When did I waste my time? I asked these questions and soon found some answers to beat myself up with.
Things like… the phone chat and coffee date I had with my friends, the lunch breaks I took and the yoga classes I made time for. And that night I collapsed on the couch when there was still work to be done.
When you want to maximise your time its an easy fix to sacrifice the deeply important activities that restore and connect you.
But I know better…. I know that when I’m tired rest is healing, connecting with other humans is important for my emotional well being, and without yoga my health suffers.
I decided to zoom the lens out a bit further and take a broader view of what I’d done this week. Maybe I didn’t waste time at all.
I wrote a list of my ‘unmeasurable’ contributions? The things I did to support the people around me who matter most.
The loads of washing I dried each day, despite the arctic conditions outside.
The activities I ferried kids to, night-after-night, while catering all the meals and snacks in between.
The past client I gave advise to and the friend who needed time to talk.
The midday race to school to comfort a nine-year old with a blood nose, and the dentist appointment I raced him to the next day for a chipped adult tooth.
The food, gifts, clothes and costumes I popped in and out of shops for.
The hair I crimped and make up I applied for the kids to perform in their school production.
The understanding ear I offered my husband to debrief his day at work.
The toilets, showers, floors and benches I’d cleaned. And the beds I’d made.
I’d forgotten all this and more.
Its crazy, right? I’d done all these things and yet I felt disappointed with what I’d got done.
Why? Because…. Our unmeasured contributions require time, energy and attention and yet are often not seen as contributing, let alone celebrated as achievements.
You just do them. Yet they’re often what keeps many other people in motion, enabling them to achieve great things.
What’s the solution?
You don’t need to skip lunch, sleep or yoga. You don’t need to work longer and harder. You simply need to recognise the contribution you’re making to others as valuable. Very valuable.
Remember… You don’t always have to be paid an income to be a contributor in this world.
We need to celebrate the ways WE nurture and support all the tired and hungry beings in our homes. And how we monitor all the emotions of the house offering love and support when needed to keep things in check.
So if you ever feel like time has got away from you, I want you to stop and think about all the people you’ve supported. Recognise all the giving you’ve done.
One small shift in your thinking can turn a disappointing week into a rewarding one that feels good.
So… I’m very proud to say I’ve had an amazing week and I’m ready to celebrate ALL that I’ve done.