Everyday takes time

Do you get to the end of the day and wonder what you have done?  It is a good idea to have a to-do list, but some days you don’t even glance at it – and yet you know you have been busy all day.

The other day I was sitting at the hairdressers and she asked me if I had a busy day – just in general chit chat I said, yes, it was fairly busy, I had to run Daniel back and forwards a few times.  I didn’t think anything more about this until later in the day driving back from town thinking how my car fuel gauge was below ¼ so next trip I needed to refuel and I thought more consciously about my day.

I had taken Daniel into town for work, stayed in town for my haircut, came home.  Did some housework, went back to pick him up at lunch time, then later in the day took him back for his Taekwondo training, I drove home to have dinner with the girls, and back to pick him up.  That is, I had 3 round trips today, with each trip approximately 40min.  That is 2 hours in the car, on the road.  When I looked at my to-do list today I didn’t count on 2 hours of my day being in the car.  My point is, we often don’t consider how long our regular tasks take, and yet each task built upon each task fills up our days.

I remembered back to when Jessica was a few months old, Joshua around 20 months.  I remember a day when I was so frustrated because I achieved nothing.  In fact, it felt like I achieved nothing for a week!  I sat down and wrote a list of everything that I did that day – everything.  The thing that struck me as I looked at my overview of the day, was how much time I spent feeding my family.  I was feeding baby, then toddler needed 3 meals a day, and then Peter and I ate at a different time due to his working times.  That was 6 meals a day, plus feeding baby.  There really wasn’t much time for much of anything else.  Feeding the family takes times – do we understand how much time.

When we moved into our new house (19 years ago) it took me ages to sweep the floor – the house seemed so much bigger than where we had been renting.  But over time, as I found a rhythm in sweeping this house, I became quicker – but it still takes time.  It still takes time to do the grocery shop, and unpack the groceries from the car, and into the pantry.  It still takes time to sort the laundry, wash it, hang it, bring it in and fold it.  It still takes time to do the dishes, to make a cuppa for Pete when he comes home, pick up the phone and make appointments (let alone, getting to those appointments).

We do all these things throughout the day, with little thought to how much time it is taking – it just has to be done.  But then at the end of the day we wonder where the day has gone, we wonder why we didn’t get to our to-do list.  It isn’t that we weren’t busy – it is just that we were doing the next thing that needed to be done, and we weren’t aware of how much time it really took.

So if you feel frustrated with what you are achieving each day, can I encourage you to write it all down.  It takes time to teach, train, guide our children.  It takes time to keep the house tidy.  It takes time to keep food in tummies.  It takes time to be a Mum – we need to cut ourselves some slack sometimes, and at least be aware of how much time it does take to do the everyday kind of things.

 

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