How much time do we really have? I have been struggling since the Munchkin, and to be honest, since before the Munchkin, to figure out what I REALLY like to do. What are my hobbies as an adult? I do a great job of “adulting” and taking care of the productive to do list but what do I do for fun? What does it feel like to be “alive” for me?
And, the magic question, when? I decided to sit down and really calculate it out:
- 24 hours a day, 7 days a week = 168 hours per week
- Sleeping (and getting ready for sleep) approximately 8 hours a day = 56 hours per week
- Working and commute time (about 7a-4:30p) 9.5 hours, 5 days a week = 47.5 hours per week
- Housework/Meal prep/bill paying/etc… so lets pretend I spend about 2 hours a day on that (for the record I don’t but I should spend more time than I do even with the Mr.’s help) = 14 hours a week
- Personal care (showering, getting dressed, etc…) about 1 hour on average a day = 7 hours a week 168 – 56 – 47.5 – 14 – 7 = 43.5 hours a week to spend on that which brings me joy.
43.5 hours a week! Currently what do I spend that 43.5 hours on? I honestly have no idea. I’m going to bet that if I tracked myself for that time there would be a lot of mindless social media scrolling, probably a mix of TV and reading. In other words: not much.
This is no one’s fault but my own. Let me be very clear that I have done this to myself, I’ve thrown myself into adulting and into making sure the household runs that I have forgotten to include fun.
Before the Munchkin we did stuff but it mostly revolved around watching TV and going out to eat or drink. I’m not saying I didn’t enjoy those things or I don’t enjoy them now but that’s not something that’s a huge part of our lives anymore. Trying to make plans with childless friends is difficult unless we invite people over and basically put the Munchkin in front of the TV (it’s not my preferred approach to socializing for myself or the Munchkin). We’ve started to build a new group of friends with children similarly aged to the Munchkin but making friends and socializing with new people is so awkward as an adult! I see my old life in the rear view mirror and I’m not sure yet what fits in my new life.
Time is a precious commodity for everyone but when I had the Munchkin it seemed even more so. I have approximately 43.5 hours to spend on what I want but I’ve realized it has to align with my values to make it worth the time I spend either coercing a toddler to give me the space to do it or take that time away from the people I love. I have spent the winter months hibernating and trying to identify my relationship with time, hobbies, joy, and happiness.
I started by thinking about how I spent my time as a kid. I used this as a starting point because most children are unencumbered by the trappings of adulthood:
Give us the Spirit of the Child by Sara Moores Campbell:
Give us the spirit of the child.
Give us the child who lives within:
The child who trusts, the child who imagines, the child who sings.
The child who receives without reservation,
the child who gives without judgment.
Give us a child’s eyes, that we may receive the beauty and freshness of this day like a sunrise;
Give us a child’s ears, that we may hear the music of mythical times;
Give us a child’s heart, that we may be filled with wonder and delight;
Give us a child’s faith, that we may be cured of our cynicism;
Give us the spirit of the child, who is not afraid to need; who is not afraid to love.
When thinking back on my younger days I came up with two things (other than writing): being outside and being active. Luckily my parents gave me many opportunities for both but as an adult I’ve been trapped into the “responsible” and “no time” lies that I’ve built up around myself. However, I’m realizing that not allowing myself the ability to cultivate that side of myself is making me unhappy and feel like I’m just going through the motions:
Granted, I didn’t die, get resurrected by my friends, and pulled out of Heaven but you get the gist.
I need to use some of my 43.5 hours a week to balance out the responsible part and remember how to smile and laugh again.
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