I just finished reading Laura Vanderkam’s latest book, Juliet’s School of Possibilities. Her other books and her TED talks are pretty inspiring (check out the link!). In a nutshell, her message is that whenever we say “I don’t have time” for something, what we really mean is “this is not a priority.” We have 168 in each week. That’s a lot of hours! Her books serve as an extremely important reminder that we have to constantly be mindful about how we spend our time. How do you spend your time? Are you longing to do things that would inspire you, yet you can’t seem to find the time?
For teachers, summer is great for some serious rest, relaxation and fun. I am fortunate to live where there are many gorges, u-pick farms, and beautiful hiking trails. A short drive from my house lands me in a place with luscious green trees, little streams and big waterfalls. I truly value the time spent outdoors with my family. Whatever stress I might feel before always seems to disappear into the wind and the songs of the birds fill my head.
Since becoming more aware of how I spend my time, each fall when school starts again I make sure that I have time for being with my family outdoors, no matter how busy I am. Why? Because it is a priority for me. We get to CHOOSE how we fill our time and how we spend those 168 hours. We are human – we can’t do everything and we shouldn’t try… because then we can’t do anything well! So use this time during summer to figure out the things that fill you up! Notice the things that make you smile and feel restorative. Pay close attention. When you decide what is important to you, your actions should start to align with those values. You are never too busy for the things you want to do. You just need to prioritize.