A long time ago there was a guy in the recovery world who was elderly and ill. He had a lot of respect from most who knew him for telling the exact truth and for his knowledge of living in recovery. He used to tell people who asked him for help that he was old and sick and didn't have time to try to help people who wanted to mess around. He said he only had time to help people who were willing to work hard.
I remember thinking that he was wise to think about how he wanted to use the time he had left. Now that I'm over 70 myself, I've begun to think about my time in a different way. It's the little stuff that eats up time, so I'm looking first at that. For example, I've never been big on perfection in my housekeeping or my personal appearance, so taking even less time on those items is not a stretch for me. Also, being more organized about errands means less time and less gas.
On a grander scale, I've decided I don't have time to keep up with politics. Ever since I was old enough to vote, I've worked hard at understanding issues, being familiar with candidates and felt like I did a fairly good job of being a responsible voter. Recently, however, the rhetoric is so wild, I can't imagine that anyone really knows what's going on. I will keep my voter registration current, but I don't have time to run to the polls every time there's an election when it doesn't seem to matter how I vote. I will still take part in the political process assuming I can find effective ways, but trying to educate myself is something I don't have time for since I don't think it matters.
A very long time ago, I decided to believe in and live by the principle taught me in my recovery program - that the best thing for me to do is do what's best for me - when I do what is best for me it will be best for everyone else even if they don't think so. I've done my best with this but it's been hard because I was socialized to sacrifice for others - that's what a good woman does. I wasn't very good at that either, but it was my guiding light even if I didn't do well at it. So when I did what was best for myself and other people were angry and didn't approve, I felt bad and guilty and wanted to make them happy. It never worked though. Once they were mad, they just seemed to stay that way. So I've decided I don't have time anymore to worry about it when people get mad at me. I wish I could please all of the people all of the time - especially the people I love, but I believe that's not possible even if I put my best efforts into it.
I also have no time to go shopping. I have everything I need and pretty much everything I want. From time to time I want new underwear but I order that online. If I go in a store I'm sure to see something I want but won't want in a few days after I buy it because I will have to find a place to put it and will have to dust it or take care of it in some other way. I just don't have time.
I also don't read a lot of my email. I've notified a lot of people/businesses not to send me email but they keep doing it anyway. I also don't check my email or Facebook very often. I just don't have time.
I talk too much. Always have. My new realization is that people aren't really interested in my babbling. If they were, they would probably ask me a question. I think people are much more interested in having a listener. So I've decided I don't have time for all the talking I used to do. Of course, I also don't have time for some kinds of listening - it seems to me that we all complain a lot. We have all kinds of opinions about how things ought to be and we seem to believe we're experts in how things ought to be. In actuality, we have absolutely no idea how things ought to be. Only God knows that. So taking time to complain or listen to complaints is a complete waste of the time I have left on the planet.
Getting mad/irritated/pissed/or whatever is off my list of things I have time for. When I experience any of those feelings it's because I want my own way (my ego). It's useless to spend time nurturing my self-righteousness - it's just a sign that I'm making someone else responsible for my happiness. Of course there may be times when someone is doing something or not doing something that actually adversely affects me and I will need to ask them for what I want. If they don't want to, it will then be up to me to solve the problem myself. I can always simply stay away from people who don't have my well-being in their hearts.
I've been thinking a lot about what I've learned and how simple it all is when it's not cluttered up with my ego and wanting to be right and wanting to have what I want. I don't have time for complications any more. I heard someone say in a meeting where the topic was self-esteem that she had very low self-esteem but was well defended by her self-righteousness. I believe most of the complications I create are caused by my self-righteousness. I really don't have time for defending my self-esteem by being self-righteous. My self-esteem is best served by living the best way I can - especially when time is short.
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