"Time is the coin of your life. It is the only coin you have, and only you can determine how it will be spent. Be careful lest you let other people spend it for you."
Did you know that we in the U.S. work more hours than any other industrialized nation? In fact, we work more hours than medieval peasants!
This Sunday, Oct. 24, marks the seventh annual Take Back Your Time Day. This movement, which grew out of the voluntary simplicity movement, is a “major U.S./Canadian initiative to challenge the epidemic of overwork, over-scheduling and time famine that now threatens our health, our families and relationships, our communities and our environment,” according to the movement’s official Web site, http://www.timeday.org/. (The date of Oct. 24 is significant: it falls nine weeks before the end of the year, and symbolizes the fact that Americans now work an average of nine full weeks more per year than Western Europeans.)
Time for contemplation and awe
Time Day organizers encourage both personal efforts and local and national legislation to help people win back their time. If you want to learn more, you can visit their Web site, read the official handbook, check out Take Back Your Time’s channel on YouTube, or read my SheKnows.com article.
No matter what your paid work situation, it’s good to evaluate periodically how you spend your time, and whether or not you’re using it wisely. As a freelancer as well as a mother, I find that even though I don’t go to an office 40+ hours a week, work has a way of filling my hours and days. My paid and unpaid work and personal life tend to bleed into each other. Sometimes I have to adjust how much time I’m spending at the barn with Tank or with friends socializing (ahem) and how much time I spend keeping the house running or meeting writing deadlines, even and especially self-imposed ones. Sometimes we have to take back our time not from someone or something outside of ourselves, but from our own habits. I think it may be time for a reevaluation of how I spend my time.
Time to explore the natural world
Whether or not you work full time for pay, I’m pretty sure you work hard at whatever you do. So this Sunday, take back your time—spend a few hours with your family or friends, alone doing something you enjoy—or even doing absolutely nothing. Be mindful and deliberate about what you’re doing, or not doing, and see how that feels. I plan to spend the afternoon on my lanai, with a good book and my journal so I can write out what’s going on, what’s working and what isn’t—I’m going to take back my time.
What about you? How have you been spending your time? How do you want to spend it? How can you take back your time?
Time well spent