This question has been running in my head and passing through my conversations for months now. Why do I not have time to clean the house, have a meaningful conversation, call my friends? Why do I not have time for the things we enjoy - a craft, a good book, a cup of tea?
Doubtless, I am not the first person to ask this question. And there are surely people who don’t feel this way - who do have the time they want for the things they want it for. But in my little world, it does not seem the case. And we live in a small town and mostly don’t watch television.
Life is simply more complicated than is used to be. Families don’t live near each other anymore. We work away from family and friends for the majority of our time (usually doing something we don’t even like). There are a so many ways to “keep in touch” that’s it’s hard to keep up with it and so many people to keep up with that it rarely happens. Any decision involves an thousand options. Everything seems complicated.
We are a mobile society. Since our family has a car and can drive, then we take 7 hours to visit my husband’s family. And that’s time we’re not getting to simply relax at home. And while time there is important and great, it means that we very, very rarely have a “normal” weekend at home.
Which brings me to work. My husband’s job requires a lot of weekends, so when he is home on a weekend, something else is usually happening to keep it from being a lazy (or productive-around-the-house) kind of time. This factor for us, work, is something I’ll address in another post.
For me, it seems there are many factors. I feel busy because I put a lot on my plate. I want a clean home, homemade meals, homeschooled kids, to attend all church services, and time to read, write, sew, and exercise (to name a few). Well, I have two little ones who require a lot of time, energy, and attention. But part of this stress, I feel, is from the state of our society today. Running a home is not as simple as it used to be. And many of us were not taught how to manage a home like it was taught “back in the day”. I don’t run my house a certain way because that’s the way my mother did, because that’s the way her mother did, and her mother before her. I run it the way I do because I’m still trying to figure it out! Shortly after I got married, I read Sink Reflections by the Fly Lady and it was great! But once I had children, it didn't work anymore. So I’m still trying to figure it out. And I’m not just figuring that out, but just how to manage life in general.
Another thing for me is that it takes me a long time to make a decision. Lots and lots of choices are not good for a person like me! I want to know all my options. I want to weigh them, think about it for a while, and go back and forth for as long as possible. I just want to make a good decision, especially when it comes to spending money. So, for example, shopping online can really can eat up a lot of my “free” time. I am working on this.
In general, it feels like our life is disconnected. There’s work and the people at work, there’s church and the people at church, friends, and family. Some are connected, some are not. To be fully engaged with each section of our life is exhausting. We are getting exhausted. And as our family grows, we’ll need even more time together as a family that will put even more strain on these other factors of our lives. This has got to be addressed.
This question, these thoughts, they are stirring a movement within our home.
Do you feel busy too? If so, why? If not, what do you do to keep life balanced?