A thought that has run through my mind many times since March is “if I don’t do it now, I will never do it.” Well, at least not until long-off retirement, because I expect that is when I might again have time to get to things that usually fall off the radar… things that are not high priority, but that I’d like to do: such as make various things, learn languages (both spoken and programming); polish my microscopy skills; finish random projects around the house; establish a daily meditation practice; explore more of Minnesota; read various books; improve some crafting skills; pick up my old flute again, or dust off the piano.
During the initial stay-home order, while the ground was frozen and the wind still icy, I finally plowed through a shelf of books-to-be-read. I still didn’t have time to actually read all of them, but I began each and finished the ones that passed the 50-page test. I wrote my legislators, cleaned out my email inbox, filed taxes at the normal deadline, and deep-cleaned the house. When the ground became diggable, I got a better start on my vegetable garden than I have in years, and I’m still eating the greens that I planted in April. I joined a tiny outdoor tai chi class, and I’m moving through an online programming course. I kayaked, walked, and biked. Throughout the season, I pruned and weeded and enjoyed the garden therapy.
Much of my want-to-do list, though, remains undone. Time choices were made, and some roadblocks, small and large, appeared. Time was spent, and now it’s gone. Even when some of the normal things are reduced, the time still isn’t there.
I generally try to moderate my expectations for most things, but obviously need to consider them with regards to time as well. For me, feeling time-starved is a quick recipe to stress, so making all of my lists, mental and written, smaller might be one of the best actions I can take for overall happiness. Much of the time, I don’t need to do less, I just need to want to do less.