9 minutes reading time (1785 words)

Making Time


Question for you. When was the last time something caught your attention on social media? Let me clarify that question ... something that didn't make you angry, sick to your stomach, or shock the crap out of you? Something that actually made you think, reflect, or even challenge you? Last night I had that kind of moment with a random post on Facebook. Now let me tell you a little secret. I don't like social media. Really. I don't. I am not the girl who spends hours scrolling through thousands of posts made by "friends" and yes, if I bump into you at a coffee shop and you question why I don't know that your dog died, you're pregnant, you got a divorce or a promotion or anything else because you "posted it on Facebook", that's just how it is. If you want me to know something message me, text me, email me, tell me in line at that coffee shop, or use your phone to call me and tell me all about it. Then I'll know what's going on because you made the time to share it with me. So I don't turn this blog into a social media rant, let me bring you back to that moment last night.

Here's what happened. I picked up my phone to see if I had any notifications. When I scrolled up to the top of the page, I saw a random post that caught my eye. It was something about finding or making time or something. Now I know you're thinking, it "caught your eye" but you didn't even know what it said? Yep. Guilty as charged. It caught my eye enough though to make me stop what I was doing, and read it again, but this time out loud to my husband. In "Tisha fashion", I was simply going to add some snarky comment (with love of course) informing my husband that he needed to make more time for me because after all, it said to do so on Facebook. But when I read it out loud ... my thoughts started circling and I realized it wasn't just a thought to throw around sarcastically. So what did it say? 

Finding the time is different than making the time. Know the difference.

I gave it a few more minutes thought, and then pushed it to the back of my mind with all of the other things I'm going to "address" later. But something made that darn phrase keep popping back up in my thoughts. I knew if I didn't give it some thought before bed, I'd be dreaming about it so I decided to give it some thought. I then figured out why I couldn't just let it go. I didn't really know the difference and that was confusing me. Most of you who know me, know that I love to plan, schedule, and "find time" for anything. I have a paper planner (yes a real turn-the-pages kind of paper planner), use google calendar, have scheduling systems, and all the things. Everything is color coded whether it's handwritten or typed on the screen and my schedule is always rainbow-filled (I never need to wait for a storm to find a rainbow 😄) Finding time is a skill that I have mastered over the years and just talking about a new planner lights me up like you cannot imagine! Heck, my girlfriend Lisa literally scheduled time in my calendar so that I could walk her through how to use her new panda planner! Yep and that appt was one of the few things I was really looking forward to that week lol! So if I'm so good with time management and finding time to schedule all the things, why would a quote about finding and making time catch my eye? Well, finding time and making time are not the same thing. Let me explain.

As a people pleaser, I spent years of my life saying yes to everything I was asked to do. The number of days that I wanted to cry myself to sleep because I had no idea how I would "find the time" to get everything done, was countless. I guess looking back, the only reason I didn't cry myself to sleep nightly was that I rarely slept. Sleeping was for people who weren't willing to do it all and friends that just wasn't me. I know now, being that person, made me sick. I couldn't find the time to do anything for me, for self-care, for my health. So what happened? I got sick but that's a story for another day.

As I was getting sicker and sicker, I was being instructed by everyone that I had to just say no to everything now, so that I could "find the time" to take care of my needs. I started pulling away from so many things. Things I used to really enjoy, but I was scared (and so tired) and felt like I had no choice but to walk away from it all. While my calendar had fewer colors in it, I wasn't getting healthier, it wasn't helping my health and if anything it was negatively affecting my mental health. If I wasn't doing all the things to help everyone else, why was I here? What was my purpose?  Again, another story for another day.

Finding the time is almost a fairy tale. Think about it. What happens when you "find time"? Were you just wasting that time? Did you have a chunk of time that wasn't planned? Finding something usually requires you to have first lost something. We all know how easy it is to lose track of time scrolling through social media, but how do you find the time that you lost ? Having lost so much time would definitely explain why we hear (and use) the infamous excuse of "I'm just too busy", right? 

Or maybe you are so super organized, you find the time because you see a 15 min open block that you didn't remember having so you can squeeze someone or something into that found time, or someone/something was canceled so you were given some time back.  But that wasn't found time, that was time you were unexpectedly given back. 

Think about how often you use the phrase "I'm too busy." Are you really too busy or is it more about not wanting to or not knowing how to do that thing? Honestly, how many of us find the time to do something that we don't "have to do" and how often do you not find the time to do something that you know you coulda, woulda, shoulda, but just didn't want to? Yeah, me too. It really isn't about being too busy. It's a mindset. It's about whether or not you have the desire, that intrinsic motivation, to find the time to do that thing.

Making time however is different. Making time is a conscious effort. It means you've said no to something so that you can say yes to something else.

  • I'm not going to clean out the garage so that I can make time to have lunch with my daughter. 
  • I'm not going to double book my schedule with appointments so that I can make time to go for a walk before dinner. 
  • I'm not going to hit the snooze 3 times so I have time to brew some coffee before I leave for my first appointment.

Each of these examples requires you to say no to something in order to say yes to something. It may seem like an easy task, but take it from an overachieving, people-pleasing, planner, the idea of not blocking out my entire schedule with the hundreds of items on my to-do list is flipping scary as heck. But I have to tell you .... you need to try this.  I think you're going to really like it and this takes me to today. 

I'm typing this up after taking an unexpected trip to Tucson with my husband and daughter. You see for what seems like forever, my husband keeps asking me if I want to go here, there, or somewhere. My response has often been, "of course, I want to, but I just can't. My schedule is too booked and I just can't take the time off". Last night he asked me again if I wanted to go to Tucson tomorrow. My first response was, "Sorry, Saturday mornings are for me and Breanna (our daughter)". You see, every Saturday the two of us take off in the morning and head to Starbucks where we hang out, outside if we can, and just chill. She reads, listens to music, watches youtube and I work, but we're together and that's our thing. His response was "If you don't mind if I go with you, we could go to Starbucks in Tucson." I brushed it off and said, "Sorry I just can't." 

Then that darn phrase popped up on Facebook and I've spent the last 15 hours thinking about the difference between finding and making time. This morning I made the decision, that I am going to make the time, not only today, but I will make the time one day per month, every month, where I don't schedule anything on my calendar so that I can spend the time with my family.  One day per month may not sound like a lot, but sitting here watching my husband read a book (The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F#ck) and my daughter watching a youtube video, enjoying the breeze and a pike coffee, with a light splash of heavy cream, typing up my thoughts to share with you ... well, it feels good. I said no to my crazy jam-packed schedule for today and made the time to do something different. You know what? It's kinda awesome.

So what are you willing to make time for? I'd love to hear from you. Share with me your challenge with finding time or your success with making time. I always learn so much from you when you share your experiences with me and with that I challenge you to make the time to do something for your mental health, your physical health, your peace of mind .... for you. 

Are you in?

If you don't make time for your health,
you'll be forced to make time for your illness.

But I don't take insulin
93% of American Adults are Unhealthy