Thursday, April 4, 2013

If We're Really Being Honest

I had a friend who used to tell me she didn't have time to read books and the only reason I did was because I wasn't yet a mother. I found it odd that she seemed to have plenty of time for Facebook, TV, heading to the races, and night's out with her friends, but not for reading. It seemed to me that she had just as much time in the day as I did, but used it differently - not wrong or right, just different - but to say she didn't have time seemed a bit off. Now that I am a mother, I read every bit as much as I want to. Granted, that's less than it used to be - by choice. My priorities have shifted. I still have time. I just choose to use it differently. And that's OK.

I hear all the same, but in different versions fairly often on the Facebook page. It goes something like this:

"I don't have time to..."

read a book (alone or to babe)

cloth diaper

breastfeed on demand

teach and learn sign language with babe

wade through all the information you present

make healthy breakfast, lunch, and/or dinner and eat with family

play with babe

fight injustice

attend the nurse-in or other protest

write to my state representatives

share information on my Facebook

have sex with my partner(s)

clean

take my kids to the park

talk with my family

educate others on circumcision, CIO, breastfeeding, natural birth, etc."

...and on and on and on...

This is not to say that you all should be doing all of the above or that you all should do all the things I do or vice-versa. It is to say that making excuses instead of just being honest about our priorities is doing yourself and everyone around you a disservice. If we're to teach our children about prioritizing, honesty, and self-assuredness, we have to demonstrate those for them.

Here's the thing: it's typically a lot more about not wanting to make time than it is about genuinely not having time. And you know what - that's OK. It's OK to have other priorities. It's OK to say, "I do have time to read that article, but I'd prefer to spend that time vegetating in front of the TV and deflating for 1/2 hour after my daughter goes to sleep and while I choose to engage precious little of my brain." Really. Truly, that's OK.

We all have the same amount of time in our days as everyone else. We all choose to use that time differently. That's OK. But it's time to start being honest about it. It's time to stop making excuses for things we feel we should be doing and just be honest about not really wanting to. Because, if we're really being honest, if we truly wish to do something, we'll find a way, and, if not, we'll find an excuse.

We all have priorities. They're all different from everyone else's. They're even different from our own from yesterday and tomorrow. One day, the stars may all align, my son may be feeling uber-helpful, I may be feeling uber-productive and together we get a ton done around the house. The next day, maybe not-so-much and we are lucky to brush our teeth. We have the time, but we've decided to, instead, prioritize cuddling, loving, and just being together ahead of other things. That's OK. But I cannot, will not say "I didn't have time to brush my teeth today." No, I did. I just didn't. It wasn't as important to me as other things. That's OK. But if we're really being honest, we have to stop making excuses and start being real about what our priorities are. And be OK with them.

So if my friend is really being honest, she has time to read. She just doesn't particularly like to read and when she has time, she prefers to use it doing other things. And that's OK. That's real, that's honest. That's OK.



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