Thursday, December 15, 2011

Making Time for What You Love

On Sunday night, I met a goal that I had set for myself this year:  I finished my 48th book.  Last year I read 50, and I will likely read 2 more books this month, so will be on par with last year.  It's no secret that I read a lot of books.  You see my monthly recaps, which usually feature 3-4 books.

One of my pet peeves is when people say, "I wish I had time to read as much as you do."  Now, I do understand that my life is probably not as busy as those who have children, but despite that, I think I am pretty busy.  I pack a lot into each year - especially this past year when I spent the first 5 months of the year studying 5-6 days a week for the CFA.  Add in half marathon training, a demanding job, and business travel, and it makes for a busy life (no complaints, I like it that way!). 

When you love a hobby, like running or reading, you make time for it.  I try to be careful about not saying, "I do not have time for ____."  For instance, I read the blogs of many people who make amazing mid-week meals.  I am incredibly impressed by what they eat on a weeknight.  However, I do not say I do not have time to make those kinds of meals, I say, "I do not choose to spend my time making delicious, interesting meals."  Instead, I heat up leftovers, microwave a baked potato, or heat up a can of soup - because for me, it's not worth the effort required to make an interesting meal.

Bottom line - life is about choices.  Most nights, my tv does not get turned on - instead I opt to read.  For me, the best way to unwind from a long day is to either knit or open up book and get carried away by the author's story.  But for others, they may unwind by cooking, watching tv, or sewing.  To each their own!

So that is how I found time to read 48 books this year.  This post is best summed up with the following quote:

"Don't say you don't have enough time. You have exactly the same number of hours per day that were given to Helen Keller, Pasteur, Michelangelo, Mother Teresa, Leonardo da Vinci, Thomas Jefferson, and Albert Einstein.”-- H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

What do you make time for each day?  Every day, I make time for reading.  I also make time for knitting and playing the piano a couple of times each week as these are also stress-reducing activities.

28 comments:

Kyria @ Travel Spot said...

Ha! I LOVE this. You knew that though. I make time to read. I do not make time to watch TV. Sometimes I feel bad, because my friends will sit down to watch a movie and I will be doing something else. We all have things we like to do to unwind, or to excite us, or to de-stress... Thank goodness they are all different or we would all be vying for time to do the same thing!

However, I don't think your friends are trying to put you down. I don't think they are saying that YOU have SO much time because you don't have kids. They probably are just a tad jealous that you have time to read instead of chasing kids around. Don't be too hard on them (although I understand what you mean!)

E said...

Hey Lis---great post! I know how you feel! The "comment" I often get is not "I wish I had time to read" but "I wish I had time for the social life you do."

I feel like social media has made it so easy for others to "peek" into our daily lives. Doing things like "Check-ins" and uploading photos from our smart phones clues people in to our daily activities. This has lead to some (What I interpreted as) snarky comments made to me. Co-workers have said "I don't know how you do it. I come home and crash for the night." Friends will say "Wait til you have kids. Then this 'do what I want when I want' approach will be a distant memory." Even my sister will often comment "I never did the things you did when I was your age. Do you EVER stay home?"

Uh..yes. I DO spend time at home. I'm not always running around or attending this function or that. And I often "post" about those nights "in"--but people seem to gloss over those! They just seem to focus on the fact that (in their opinion) I'm out and about quite a lot for "someone my age."

On a bad day, the "comment" can really rub me the wrong way. But on a happier day, I can take it a little better.

I'm not sure why people say "comments" (like yours, mine, and the many OTHERS that are out there) without thinking about them. I'm sure like your friend Kyria says---most people are not trying to put down or judge us for our decisions. In many cases, they probably are a little envious of what we choose to do.

Your post is great because it really hits the hammer on the nail. (Is that how the saying goes?) We all have a certain amout of FREE time in our days. Whether we choose to spend that time reading, cooking, sleeping, partying, or veggin' out in front of the TV--that is OUR CHOICE. Isn't that one of the great privileges of living in this country? We DO have a choice :)

So read on, sister!!! I'm proud of your (almost 50) books read in ONE year. WOOHOO!

Raquelita said...

I don't make as much time to read recreationally as I probably would if my job did not already require so much reading. I read to write lectures and I read to do my scholarship. When I am getting into new research, I might read 10 or so books and journal articles a week on the topic or related topics. So while I love to read novels, I'm more apt to unwind for part of the evening by watching a movie or chatting with my spouse or a friend.

Congratulations on reading so many books this year!

Amber @ A Little Pink in the Cornfields said...

Oh, I agree with this post so much. In the past few years I have really come to terms with the choices people make, especially in regard to how they spend their time, and who they spend it with. Everybody has a choice, and if you want something bad enough, you will make it happen. If you want to keep someone in your life, you will! If you want to see someone, you will figure out how to do it! It's so simple really.

That being said... I don't understand non-readers. It's their prerogative, and I understand it's not everybody's favorite way to relax but don't go knocking readers!

I love that you try not to say, "I don't have time for..." it's so true that you just don't "choose to..."

Great post :)

abbi said...

I 100% agree with the whole 'I don't have time for...' thing. If it is something important to you, you can probably find the time for it. That said, I should probably find the time to read more - that's an impressive number. I think I've read probably 3 books this year!

Jess said...

I used to use this excuse ALL THE TIME! (I was especially guilty of it when I was in my undergrad, though to be fair, there probably were times when I legitimately didn't have time!)

The older (and, of course, wiser) I've gotten, I've realized that you just have to make time for things you enjoy. I make things like reading, running, etc. a priority because they make me happy!

missris said...

I TOTALLY agree! Whenever people say they "don't have time for" whatever, I want to ask them how much TV they watch. I find time to exercise, read, and cook every day. I also never turn on my TV, don't have cable, and rarely watch shows on my laptop. Granted I don't have children but I firmly believe that you have time for whatever is most important to you, and if you really want to do it, you'll find a way!

Kelly (She Wears a Red Sox Cap) said...

Such a great post and I think we've talked about this before! I hope you didn't think my comment on goodreads was in any way along this line :) I was just more proud of you for reaching that goal despite the busy year you have had!

I am hopefully going to finish my 35th book this year before the month is over (of course I picked the longest possible book!). That is probably an all time record for me in adult life and I'm also really proud of myself that I made this goal and hopefully reached it. I find reading to be really relaxing too and I have to make sure that I always make time for it.

Nora said...

I LOVE that quote =) I try not to say that either, though I'm sure I do sometimes! I'm learning to reapportion my time. When I get up with Knight and the kidlets I work out, get ready for the day and start work early and it feels so good to do that! And a better use of my time.

I have only two more books I need to read this month to meet my goal but nothing is grabbing me right now and it's bumming me out! I need something good.

One of the ways i love to relax? Baking or cooking. Helps me every time.

Also, way to go you reading 48 books so far and I know you'll reach your goal =)

Allison Blass said...

I definitely waste too much time. When I don't, I get so much accomplished and I feel great, but other times I'm just like "Meh..."

I've only read like 10 or 12 books this year, which is an accomplishment for me, but I know I could do so much better, and be so much smarter, if I just dedicated myself to it a little more. It's just so hard to self-motivate sometimes!

Gracie (Complicated Day) said...

So agree - you make time for what you want / need to do. Lucky me, I am a fast reader (and someday will be a truly fast runner!!!) so I can get more books and miles in than many!

Amber (Girl with the red hair) said...

I've read 20 books this year and I'm pretty proud of that number! That's almost 2 books a month, which is decent for me. I'm definitely someone who can, and does, spend 30 mins to 1.5 hours in the kitchen every night! I just REALLY enjoy cooking after work and find it really "winds me down". I also go to yoga 2-3 nights of the week which takes up 2 hours of my evening or more. I get a lot of "I don't have time" in regards to all the workouts I do but like you said, it's all about what you CHOOSE to do.

That said, I do want to spend more time reading in 2012! I just love it when I really get into a book and I can't put it down (like I was with the Glass Castle and the Scent of Rain and Lightning) I need to find more books that "grab" me like that and then I think I would MAKE the time to read more!

Marlys said...

You are right - we do make time for things that are important to us, regardless of what they are! And parents of small children do not have that time, but they do have the blessing of nurturing their children which is the most profound job in the world! "If wishes were horses, beggars would ride!" Keep reading!

AshleyD said...

I agree with everything you said! It's all about setting your priorities and making those choices. Even when I "don't have time" for something, it's usually because I'm choosing to do something else in its place (sleeping, usually, ha).

Stephany said...

I LOVE THIS POST SO MUCH YOU HAVE NO IDEA!

One of my BIGGEST pet peeves is when people remark to me, "Oh, I don't have time for that." Mainly, I hear it about exercise but it just bugs me. Yes, you do. You MAKE time if it's important to you. If it's not, then oh well! It's your life, you have to do what makes YOU happy. But don't give me that load of bull.

Sigh. Off my soapbox?

I love you for this post.

imlivinginadream said...

I LOVE this, Lisa!! This is exactly my life. I have a lot of friends who ask me how on earth I make so much time for reading on top of working 25 hours a week and going to school/keeping up with homework, and it's exactly what you said. I CHOOSE to make time to read rather than do other things. I haven't finished a book in a little while because I've been neglecting my hobby, and that just makes me sad. I love making the time to read, there's nothing like it to me.

Thanks for sharing, it's so true. It's all about making time for the things you WANT to make time for.

Nilsa @ SoMi Speaks said...

Were you pointing your finger at me as you wrote this post? Because I'm pretty sure I've been known to say I don't have time to read as much as I used to. hahah. But, you're right. We have the same number of hours in our days - it's how we choose to designate those hours that makes us unique individuals. That said, there are a lot of responsibilities with children, especially young children, that you just can't skip. If I factor in all those responsibilities, it's usually not until 8 or 9 pm that I have me time. And, I can honestly say, I've chosen to spend that time on the couch, with Sweets, watching TV. I hope to make small adjustments to that schedule next year. =)

Lauren @ Sassy Molassy said...

This is awesome. I totally say that, but in my head I'm meaning "I don't make time for reading, even though I really enjoy it." Instead, I choose to blog, read blogs, twitter, watch TLC or home shows and cook/bake.

I'm still impressed by how many books you read. I would like to set a goal of reading just one book a month. And from time to time Pete and I will declare Wednesdays or something our "no tv" night. It's just too easy for him to flip it on and get sucked into ESPN. Sure, I watch if it's on, but I would prefer less tv and more interaction or relaxing and reading a book/magazine.

J said...

I need to make more time for reading. When I was planning the wedding, reading really took a hit because I was always reading wedding blogs. Now I need to get back into it. Sometimes Brian turns on the tv tho and I get sucked into it. Guess I need to cut out some of my tv watching and get more reading done!

San said...

Wow, 48 books...
I was tempted to say "I don't have time to read", but now I'd like to rephrase and say "you're right, I chose to do other things more".... although reading is still one of my favorite hobbies and I want to chose a book over a movie more often! :) (Thing is - if I watch a movie, I can also crochet and be on the computer. (I am a multi-tasker, can you tell? ;))

crystal said...

I love this post! I feel the same way, I hate when people say "I have no time for ___" I agree, I don't make time for certain things, but that is my choice. When someone says "Oh I can't do that, I have no time" if feels a bit like a judgement, like oh my life is so busy that I don't have time for that little hobby you have, gah!

I digress. 48 books, congrats!! I think I will make a point to count mine next year....I really have no idea how many I read.

Jeanie said...

Splendid words for the wise. I love to read and this year read more books than usual -- 30, or it will be by the end of the month. Next year -- more! And yes, I've made the time to do it. And I'm so glad!

Becky said...

I love this - SO true! And you are awesome for already being on your 48th book!!!

Ashley // Our Little Apartment said...

True story! My house is clean and I make good food, but it's easier to do that stuff with a toddler than it is to read. (I can read one sentence before he grabs the book, needs my attention, rips something, draws on the book, etc...haha)

I love reading - so I've been making a little time for it each night, even just 10 minutes!

renmbrock said...

That's a good way to look at it! I make time for reading and blogging, but I don't make as many strides with those hobbies as I'd like.

Jolene - EverydayFoodie said...

I make time for homework, cooking a meal (most days), and watching at least 1 TV show each night.

Caroline said...

Great post! This is so true and something I realized while marathon training. So many people said they wish they had time to train for a marathon too. We can all make time for the things we really love.

pinkflopflops44 said...

I am going to whine that I don't have enough hours in my day for sleep no matter what you tell me ha. I am impressed that I am near 50 books myself this year, I had no expectations going in, but dang I've read a lot. If I wasn't so tired at night now I would read more, but it puts me to sleep! ;) I am hoping to somehow make it to 50 though. Since I do have a week off work.