It was roughly 30 days ago that I left the company I started and the job that came along with it. Thirty days seems like a lot of time to get a lot of things done, doesn’t it? At least that’s what I thought 30 days ago. Yes, I jetted off to Hawaii with the family for a sun-, fun- and surf-filled 10 days. We flew home on a red-eye, and then my kids finished their last four days of first and fifth grades. My oldest kiddo turned 11, and then we packed up and drove across farmland and prairie to Kansas City for a week of seeing family and friends. And then we drove back, and I remember thinking, “it’ll be nice to be home and start tackling all the ‘stuff’ I want to do. I have lots of time.”
I thought, I can finally finish all the laundry, organize the linen closet, set up my new home office and get my blog going, clean out my e-mail box, get my filing cabinet in shape, paint my bedroom, retile my kitchen, start planning a new cooking business idea I have, weed and re-do my gardens, accessorize the back patio, get a handle on the 34,272 Lego pieces floating around our house, rip out the basement bathroom, and the garage. Did I mention the garage? The garage has been the bane of my existence pretty much since we moved in. In short, it’s a disaster area.
Once we were home, I realized I had three days before my younger kiddo’s eighth birthday and five days until Fathers’ Day, and I had done a whole bunch of not-much to plan for either occasion (and both were worthy of some planning!). We also had guitar and ukulele lessons, my planned workouts at the gym, meal-planning and grocery shopping, and getting the dog groomed (she looked a bit neglected, I must admit). Oh, and laundry. Let’s not forget laundry.
Both the eighth birthday celebration and Father’s Day were fun and meaningful. Our little family was together, recognizing two important and amazing people. I cooked and we ate well (two of my favorite things). And then I realized I had one day before the first camp of summer began. It’s probably the one camp both of my boys looked forward to most: the Von Miller Football ProCamp. I had a brief sense of relief that I’d finally have some time to myself to complete some of that “stuff” I mentioned earlier. Little did I know that Von Miller camp would be consuming not only for my kids, but also for me. My boys LOVED it, but I pretty much accomplished none of my “stuff.”
All of that has brought me to this blog post, and my false belief that I have “lots of time.” The truth is, I don’t. None of us do. At the beginning of the 30 days, it seemed so manageable and attainable — all of the “stuff” I wanted to do. Along the way, life happened and time passed. I didn’t accomplish much on my to-do list, but I began to unearth the deeper layer of who I am and why I chose to leave my company in the first place. I know I didn’t leave a successful and lucrative business to complete a bunch of home projects. I left to discover a new path. After 30 days, I realize I’m merely standing at the trailhead of that new path, not quite sure if I even have the right map.
As I continue to study my still-fuzzy map, I’m being more aware of my time instead of trying to spend my time. If I just need to sit and read a magazine, I’m doing that. If I need to use some of my time to do household projects (including that pesky laundry), I’m doing that. I spent six hours cooking recently. It felt a bit indulgent, but it was something I needed to do. I’m carving out time to focus on this blog and writing, too. And I’m making sure that when I’m with my kids, I’m taking the time to be with my kids. Being aware of my time allows me to listen to cues and follow my gut about the next step for me. That’s a really good use of my time I think.
As I look back on my last 30 days, they seem a bit chaotic, messy and lacking focus. But I know I spent my time exactly as I was supposed to. Exploring, cleaning, and connecting. The dog is groomed. I’ve set up my home office (sort of), and I’ve been to the grocery store. I’ve knocked those things off of my to-do list. Not bad for 30 days, I’d say. What’s in store for my next 30 days? Laundry. Lots of laundry.