“I don't have time for that."
This is more than a sentence we say pretty often—it's a boundary we're putting up.
Sometimes it's a healthy boundary. Sometimes it's unhealthy, even harmful. Sometimes we use this sentence to excuse ourselves from bettering our lives.
We raise it up high for all to see: “Look at me! I know how to manage my time! I am just like so busy."
But, what we're really holding up is an excuse not to embrace our fullest potential.
As a mom of four small kids, I've done this more times than I can recall. I've said no to things that would have changed my life, but I was afraid to go there. I've used my kids and my life as a reason not to partake in something life-changing: A Bible study that I knew would shake things up, but I was in a season of bitterness, and I didn't want to be shaken up yet. “I don't have time for that." A program or book that was designed to help me escape the chronic chaos and overwhelm I was struggling with, but if I stopped struggling I'd have no excuse to remain in my depression and keep watching Netflix. “I don't have time for that."
Have you ever done this? Maybe your marriage was on the rocks and a helpful website suggested creating a special night of alone time and discussion for you and your husband. You know exactly what that would mean—no more excuses, you'd have to deal with the mess you helped create and it might not be all his fault—so you block it. “I don't have time for that right now. Things are too crazy this week."
Maybe you've been complaining about your life—how busy you are, how much work is on your plate, how overwhelming it all is—and sort of using that to get recognized as a rockstar. So, when someone suggests you train someone to assist you at work, or find a Mommy's Day Out program to help you with the kids once a week, you brush it off with, “I don't have time for that."
Because you know that by actually solving the problem, you no longer have a reason to complain, a reason to feel validated or seen as a martyr.
There are so many articles floating around in Internet Land about learning to say no, not feeling obligated to say yes to everything asked of us, but I see the flip side being a chronic problem. I struggled with it myself for years, and I recognize it in loved ones and new acquaintances and bloggers and strangers overheard in coffee houses all. the. time.
Maybe not everyone is saying “I don't have time" for the same reason. Maybe some of them truly don't have the time for something that would benefit their lives.
Let's look at that angle: You have the time you choose to have. You have the time you make.
Time does not own us, we own time.
We all have the same amount of hours in our day as Maya Angelou and Oprah and *insert some extremely successful person you admire.* I think we need to stop using a lack of time as an excuse and start using our control of time as a launch pad for all we want in life.
We have to stop letting the daily grind, the chaos, the kids, the messes, the clutter, the stresses, the bills, the TV, the everything get in the way of us accomplishing the end-goals of our lives.
If how you spend every mundane day is going to add up to equal the sum of how you spent your life, what are you waiting for? How much longer are you going to use the “I don't have time for that" excuse?
Let's understand the difference between chaos, the need to be flexible and straight up not wanting to do hard work and bring about change. Do you or do you not want to live with intention?
There will always be seasons during which we need nothing but grace for ourselves. Pregnancy, going through fostering or adopting a child, moving, going through a divorce or some other life change, but I think most of us need to get real with ourselves about this mystical lack of time.
Those who are happy, successful moms, entrepreneurs, ministry organizers, spouses, workers, etc. are the ones who don't let excuses keep them from embracing a better version of themselves.
Is there something out there you've been avoiding, that you know will help you and change your life, but you've been saying “I don't have time" or “I don't have the money for that"?
Tell your time and your resources where to go. If you need something, take it. Make it happen.
Don't stay stuck where you're at. There's not a single admirable person in history who lived that way, and it's not good enough for you.
You're called to abundant life! Go take it.