1/72 of my day – a life better spent

1/72 of my day – a life better spent

I’ve been trying to meditate regularly, daily. I know, I know, trying sucks and I’m currently in a situation where I have all this glorious time on my hands and I still find it a struggle to fit it in to my day. I know I should do it first thing in the morning, but mornings have a way of escaping me. I know I should wake up earlier and do it, but I have yet to make any of those early morning habits actually stick for more than a week or two. So I signed up for the Deepak Chopra/Oprah Winfrey 21 day meditation challenge. Twenty minutes every day for three weeks. Daily email reminders and then more emails wondering why I haven’t shown up in so long. No problem.

Turns out the thought of taking twenty minutes to meditate stresses me out. I’ll start and the first two or three minutes will be Oprah talking about something while I check my phone for email updates and then Deepak comes on and talks some more and I try to focus. So the other day I’m there, in it and my mind starts to wander off and I’m thinking twenty minutes, TWENTY minutes. I don’t have twenty minutes for this. Who has twenty minutes?

But then sitting there I thought, twenty minutes is only one third of an hour, there are twenty four hours in a day, so that’s only 1/72 of my day. And how much worry do I give about all the mindless other things I do that take up 1/72 of my day.

So I’mma break it down.  If I give myself 21/72 for sleeping and let’s say 9/72 for prepping and eating meals, I’ll include any food shopping and clean up in there, and 9/72 for work and work related tasks, and another 3/72 for general correspondence and shopping that may need to be done, that only adds up to 42/72 of my day. So there’s showering 1/72, commuting back and forth to wherever I need to go, another… let’s say 5/72. We’re at 48/72 of my day. Leaving 24/72 or 1/3 of my day unaccounted for.

Exercise will usually take up 3/72 of my day, but it’s not every day. But let’s say an ideal day, I’m exercising AND meditating – that’s an added 4/72 of the day, bringing me up to 52/72 of the day.

Still a whole 20/72 of the day left. That’s SIX HOURS AND TWENTY MINUTES.

Fussing with kids and doing stuff with them, if I’m being generous 6/72 of the day. Laundry and other household chores, honestly, maybe 3/72 a day.

I’m left with 11/72 of the day, which doesn’t look like a huge number but break it down to three hours and forty minutes and I’m embarrassed to admit how much of that time is spent laying on the couch, watching tv and poking at my phone, checking email, checking fb, instagram, reading articles about the elections, about how to be a better mother, how to argue with your kids less, how to be more mindful, at peace, about where the time goes.

And that is where the time goes. I spend at least 1/72 of time every other day fretting about not having enough time to do what I want. And is what I want to do really plopping on the couch using my pointy fingers to poke at my little magic box. Never ever when I think about what I want to do with my life is it, lay around watching cute videos of otters and cats and other peoples children.

So maybe a good life experiment is to track my time. Spend a couple of days really looking at where my time is spent. Being analytical about it. And if there is more time than I think, maybe I don’t have much of an excuse for reviving this blog, for taking an extra 3/72 (or gasp, 6/72) of my day to spend writing and thinking. And less time watching wildlife videos, reading huffpo and wondering where I stashed the licorice.

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  1. One early morning in Brooklyn it was cold sunny and windy. It was ariund 7am and I was walking with my hands in my coat’s pocket, tight shoulders and half my face wrapped in a scarf while the other half was topped with a hat.

    All of a sudden this lady walking towards me hands me a printed paper and says: ” Enjoy this poem”, and she keeps on walking as i read the poem that had just been given to me.

    Its a poem called “Leisure” by William Henry Davies and i have been putting it on my work desks ever since that day. New job? Poem stays behind, and new copy takes a prominent position at my new desk. If someone shares a story about time and how we spend it, i almost always try to tell this story. So here it goes:

    Leisure by William Henry Davies

    What is this life if, full of care,
    We have no time to stand and stare.
    No time to stand beneath the boughs
    And stare as long as sheep or cows.
    No time to see, when woods we pass,
    Where squirrels hide their nuts in grass.
    No time to see, in broad daylight,
    Streams full of stars, like skies at night.
    No time to turn at Beauty’s glance,
    And watch her feet, how they can dance.
    No time to wait till her mouth can
    Enrich that smile her eyes began.
    A poor life this if, full of care,
    We have no time to stand and stare.

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