In massage therapy school I had this teacher. He’s smart, carries himself with confidence, and tends to rub people the wrong way. He’s one of those people you either love or…not so much.
During my first class with him, he gave us his impression of what is important. He said – If you are late to class it’s because whatever it was that delayed you was more important than being here, in my classroom, on time.
I asked about a flat tire on the freeway. His response was, ”Obviously, You should have left earlier.” Asking about a traffic jam due to a hazmat spill got the same response. The way he played it made one feel if they were late, there was no forgivable excuse and you should have known this was going to happen so you could plan for it. He was unmoving.
I had a difficult time wrapping my head around the self-important arrogance seeming to come from him. If my Grandma died and I was late for class, this should be a forgivable offense. There is no way I can control all of my surroundings to ensure nothing would get in my way of being where I said I would be 100% of the time.
I wanted to argue my point and change his mind and yet, he was the authority and I the student. This was not my place and I would just be “wrong”.
His attitude and concept were foreign to me and made me mad.
Above a 3 mad. And I didn’t like feeling that way. And as we’ve talked before, “above a 3” means it’s with me, not him. So, what was my issue?
I was looking at it the wrong way.
Absolutely, my Grandma is more important than class for that day.
And my safety on the freeway is fully a given.
If I wanted a coffee and was running late… not so much. Sleeping through my alarm or any other irresponsible thing is a choice I have made and need to own.
There are things we can control and things we can’t. This is life.
A conversation we had while playing cards made me think of all the things we say we don’t have time for.
I don’t have time to learn the guitar. I don’t have time to call so and so. I don’t have time to make dinner. I don’t have time for a nap. I don’t have time…
Saying “I don’t’ have time” is just another way of saying, “It’s just not that important right now.”
Which brought me back to the lesson years prior.
What is important right now?
The things you choose to do are the things you feel are most dominant on your priority list.
When you say, “ I don’t have time to do…(name it)” and then choose to take a moment on the couch, or on your phone or chatting with a friend or taking a nap, what you choose is more important than the thing you set aside. You may need that break more than the work facing you.
So – when I say,” I don’t have time to build those shelves.” I need to step back and ask myself, “What am I choosing to do instead?”
Is the “I don’t have time” an excuse to avoid something? And why are you avoiding it? Would it be better to acknowledge it’s not a priority and move on?
I think we often say, “I don’t have time for that.” and then use it as a bludgeon. It becomes a point of failure. “I just never got to that” and then time runs out and you’re miserable because you claimed it was important yet never actually made it important enough to dedicate time.
I’ve needed to build a couple of simple shelves for the studio. They seem easy enough. I “just” need wood, stain, brackets, etc. I keep saying they’re important and I’ll get to them, yet I just don’t. A nap seems better, or playing a game, or doing a puzzle, or, or, or…
In reality, I think I’m just insecure about getting all the stuff out and not really knowing what I’m doing. I’ve watched videos and kinda know what I’m doing, I could fake it, and yet there’s a fear that holds me back. So I keep saying “I’ll get to it. I just don’t have time.”
I have time. They just haven’t been that important.
SO – I guess this is a confession. And I need to overcome my hurdle and build a shelf.
Learn to play the guitar.
The Sitar. Viola.
Read a book.
Bake Bread. Cinnamon rolls.
Insert your “I don’t have time for that” focus here_______________.
And maybe a little shift in mentality will free you up from the guilt of not getting to it.
Admitting it’s just not that important may be exactly what you need to let go and breathe a little easier. Get rid of the guilt and embrace the truth of “It really isn’t as important as this other stuff.”