I recently heard Anne Lamott’s audio writing workshop and there was one story (and hack) that I particularly liked.
Anne was telling how she doesn’t care much for style and how she usually wears comfy clothes. But that one time she was dating an annoying man (her exact words), who loved short and tight dresses and skirts. So she went shopping with her best friend and tried on a tight lavender dress. Probably unhappy with what she saw in the mirror, Anne asked her best friend: “Do you think it makes me fat?” Her best friend gave the most amazing answer: “Come on Anne, you don’t have that kind of time!”
The answer blew my mind. It blew Annie’s mind as well. In fact, she made it her personal mantra.
The friend did not say: “Hell no, you don’t look fat,” or “Maybe you should try something else.”
She did not say: “Hurry up Anne, we don’t have time.” We all have same 24 hours every day.
She said: “You don’t have that kind of time.”
Apparently, there are many kinds of time.
Focused time. Productive time. Time for rest. Rejuvenation. Recovery. Time with friends. Family. Time for love. For listening. Time for work. Time for yourself. Time for reading. Time for music. Time for fun. Time for exploring. Time for sleeping. Action time. Creative time. Coffee time.
And then there are other types of time. Time for regret. Complaining. Time for anger. Distracted time. Time in fear. Time for worry. Those moments when you write 75 things on your to-do list and spend time paralyzed, without an idea where to begin. And those moments when you’re working while constantly checking and refreshing email or Facebook feed. Procrastination time. The time you spend replaying old, painful conversations. Or fighting with someone in your thoughts. Or repeating the same story to yourself over and over again. Or over analyzing and freaking out. Or fighting with something you cannot change.
There are many kinds of time. And we can choose the ones that serve us, that make us feel good, and make us and the world around us better.
Whenever you can, ask yourself:
DO I HAVE THIS KIND OF TIME?
Be mindful of what you are doing. Notice how you spend your precious time. Yes, we are all busy. But we all have some shitty kinds of time on our calendars regularly.
Gabby Bernstein has the best answer to people who say that they don’t have time to meditate. Gabby asks: “And do you have time to feel like crap?”
Let’s be more aware of our time. Let’s replace some “bad” with some “good” kinds of time. Slowly and gradually. The time will pass anyway. Make it count. ((Tweet this!))