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“Spring into balance” is an initiative guided by the friends at Good Not Perfect, Simplify, Live, Love, and some other guests.  This 10 week initiative is aimed at simplifying, finding time for yourself, and being happier. You can read about the 10 week project here and here.

This week, our friend Colleen at Five Little Homesteaders wrote this journal entry response to the Week 2: Reflect Assignment, which we have published below.

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“If I could just have 3 extra hours in a week, how would I most enjoy spending that time?”

So often I dream of having more hours in the week or wishing that I required fewer hours of sleep but alas, on those days that I get less than 6 hours of sleep, I realize, I really can’t add more time to my day.  By adding more time to my evenings (in exchange for less hours of sleep) I am robbing myself of a good attitude for the next day and robbing my children of a happy, present mother.  

Let’s imagine for just a moment that a magic genie comes out of a bottle and gifts me three extra hours. Do I even know what I would do with them?  What would be my ideal?  How would I spend them?

I know the answer that I “should” say is that I would spend them with my kids or my husband or all of them altogether.  Or maybe I should say that I’d volunteer at a local food bank or domestic violence shelter.

Perhaps I should clean my house, plan meals, make bread, change the litter in the chicken coop…. on and on.

We have so many responsibilities in this life and they can never all get done, but this journal entry isn’t about what I “should” do … it is about what I would most enjoy.  Given three extra hours to myself, assuming childcare and my family’s basic necessities were taken care of, I would be completely selfish.

I would love to take some serious “me” time doing some of my favorite things.  I would snatch up my ipad, a book that I’m currently (attempting) to read and my purse.  I’d head for my local Whole Foods (I know, random, right?) because it has a beautiful outdoor seating area and an amazing prepared food section.  I’d stock up on some of my favorite snacks (the “on tap” curry and a samosa sounds about right) and head out to the patio.  I’d peruse the internet on my ipad (uninterrupted!) for fun and then delve into my book.  I’d nibble on my snack and sip on whatever beverage I had chosen.  I’d feel the warmth of the air and relax.  I’d forget about all my responsibilities and absorb the words of my book.

Perhaps I’d stay there the whole three hours or perhaps just an hour and a half.  If only for an hour and a half, I’d head home (assuming no family members were there) and I’d take the luxurious and oft forgotten (since having children) afternoon nap.  Can you imagine?  I can.  But barely.

I suppose this reflection shows me that I don’t take enough time for myself.  That I am actually craving it! Without 3 extra hours in the day (and someone to help care for my children and home) how do I achieve it?  Is it possible?

I have to believe that it is possible but it will take some work.  That’s why this #springintobalance challenge is so amazing.  Perhaps it is through unplugging, going to bed early and getting up early, and going out for fresh air and most of all, making PRIORITIES that I will be able to achieve a little more “me” time.  Maybe not 3 hours, but even thirty minutes would be amazing at this point.

What would YOU do with 3 extra hours?

Colleen is a teacher turned stay-at-home mom to three little ones – ages 4, 3, and 1. Her days are filled with laughing and tears, joys and frustrations, toddlers and babies.  The basics of gardening were gifted to her by her mother and father starting at a very young age.  Through their urban homesteading adventures, she hopes to lead her family down the path of leading a more sustainable, intentional, and full life.  You can follow Colleen’s adventures on Facebook and Instagram.

P.S. One of our favorite recent posts from Colleen is this Homemade Ranch Dressing.  Because what DOESN’T go well with ranch?

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If you missed it, you can read Mary’s Week 1 Journal: Highs and Lows.

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