I looked yesterday to see what I last posted here – it apparently was before life became a jumbled calendar of chaos between my rehearsals for The Sound of Music and my husband’s meetings and our son’s extra-curricular projects – and realized that, once again, every single resolution seemed like it has ended up in the heap.
I even had to look up what my One Little Word was for 2015. (Oh, Cindy…)
I was just looking for a place to start for the Slice of Life Challenge posts to start today and landed in a mire of guilt and disappointment for one more year of dropping the ball.
So I went shopping.
I had some time to kill between my meeting and meeting with the guys, so I did what I often do: I look for a new notebook.
I’m sure I’m not the only person out there who does this.
Everything feels better when there is a fresh, clean notebook full of possibility in their hands.
I knew exactly what I wanted so I pulled into the packed parking lot of one of my favorite shopping plazas — because there is a book store and and office supply store and a great place to sit and drink coffee and read and write all in one place.
Even if I knew what I wanted, I wandered up and down the aisles at the office store (it’s always dangerous to start in the bookstore). I picked up other notebooks and flipped through them even though I knew the one I wanted (a $2.49 graph paper composition book) was really all I wanted and needed. I checked out the pens even though I knew I had just bought a pack of my favorites a couple of weeks ago. I picked up a pack of brightly colored binder clips.
My phone rang.
It was my husband.
“We are incredibly wasteful people.”
“Ohhhhkay,” I said.
“I am looking at our bills and I’m looking at our income and I’m looking at our bank account balances. What are we doing with our money?”
I put the binder clips back where they were on the peg.
“Hmmmm…maybe we need allowances.” I was only half-joking. I read somewhere that getting an allowance in cash for the week and only using bank cards for true emergencies would make you stick to a budget better.
We only talked a few minutes longer, but the short interaction ensured that I only bought that $2.49 notebook.
As I wandered around the bookstore hoping to find a place to sit and write — and then wandered through where I wanted to get coffee and write when I couldn’t find a place to sit at the bookstore, I kept thinking about how I spent both money and time.
I couldn’t find a place to sit – and I couldn’t find a place in my brain where I felt comfortable with the knowledge that we are so wasteful.
I looked at my new notebook – and at the one that was about to be replaced (though I hadn’t even finished using it) – and I felt a bit sick.
I looked at the cup of coffee I’d refilled right before leaving my meeting – and then at the coffee place I would have bought another coffee from just to sit at one of their tables for a half hour.
I looked at my purse jammed with two books and my cell phone – and thought about how I had just been thinking I’d just recently been looking at new purses, how I had a constantly growing list of books I wanted to buy (some of which I had just visited at the bookstore briefly), and the short conversation with my son about how we’d probably be upgrading our cell phones this summer, even though mine still works just fine.
It’s easy to get sucked up into the regular routine of everyday life, to want what’s around us, to not appreciate what’s right in front of us.
I noticed that it sometimes is the same thing with how I spend my time.
I have 10,080 minutes to spend each week.
I need some to sleep, some for regular Cindy maintenance (showering, eating, repainting my nails — don’t judge on that last one), some to spend with my family (though that’s time that’s going to be in short supply this week unfortunately), some to teach and do homework, some to do housework (if my husband and parents are reading this, they might comment that this doesn’t get near the amount of time it should unless I’m procrastinating on something bigger). I choose to spend my time on other things that are rewarding to me – reading a book, binge-watching Gilmore Girls from the beginning (for the first time — and I’m in season 1 yet; don’t ruin it for me!), taking a nap, helping with various committees and projects, talking to friends on social media.
Sometimes the 10,080 minutes gets spent just as wastefully as my money and it bothers me. I fall into a rut and don’t prioritize how I want to spend it and the next thing I know, I have wasted 30 minutes here and 40 minutes there watching cat videos or debating what color The Dress really is or just moving around piles of stuff on my kitchen table — and I haven’t necessarily added anything to my life or to the lives of those around me.
So I’m going to start trying to do things more deliberately around here – paying attention/time and money only on those things that are most important and necessary.
I bet you’ll hear about this again over the next 31 days as I write here as part of the Slice of Life Challenge. If you’re here because of that, thank you in advance for your comments. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, check out the link here for more information and consider joining in as today is the first day.