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19: What We Really Mean When “We Don’t Have Time”

Everyone’s got a list of things that they would be doing to better themselves if only they “had the time.” In this week’s episode, Krystal explains what we really mean when we say “we don’t have time.”


Think meditation is hard? Do me a favor. Take a slow, deep breath in. And now breathe out. Congratulations. You just meditated. Hi, I’m Krystal Jakosky, and this is Breathe In, Breathe Out, a weekly mindfulness and meditation podcast for anyone ready to own their own shit and find a little peace while doing it.

Hello and welcome back to Breathe in, Breathe Out. I am Krystal Jakosky and I’m thrilled that you’re here. I just love doing these podcasts. I think they are so much fun, and I just kind of get to dig in and play around and talk to you about things that I feel passionate about and just lessons that I’ve learned. And hopefully they bring a smile to your face or just a new realization and opportunity for you to change and shift and just live a more authentic life for yourself.

Today is just another lesson. It’s just another lesson that I have learned. I went to massage therapy school, and it was a great time for me in learning a lot of stuff. I went to a school that marries the physical anatomy and biology of the body with the energetic realm and Chinese medicine, and kind of brought the two of them together in a way that I just thought was absolutely beautiful. And it just really spoke to my heart.

There was this one teacher who was very transformative for me in my massage therapy career. He really rubbed me the wrong way, which, if you go back and you listen my Mirrors podcasts, you know that if somebody rubs you the wrong way, there’s probably something in them that is being reflected to you, which means that I had some stuff to learn, which is wonderful. It is often painful and challenging. And, yet, this guy, he was very much a mirror. I got to learn a lot.

During my first class with him, he gave us his opinion of what is super important. His comment was: “If you are late to my class, it’s because whatever delayed you was more important than being here in my classroom on time.”

He was a stickler for being on time. If you were late three times, it constituted an absence. And I mean late by 30 seconds. As soon as that clock hit straight up, you were late.

When he said this, I was a little frustrated. I was like, “Wait a minute. Are you telling me that if I have a flat tire on the freeway, that somehow your class is not important to me?”

And he says, “Well, you should’ve left earlier so that you could be here on time.”

I was like, “I don’t have power over a flat tire on the freeway.” “I know. That was just more important.”

I took that as I need to leave my house a half an hour early so that if anything happens on the freeway, if traffic happens on the freeway, that I’m at his class on time, because he is very insistent.

And I said, “Well, what if my grandma dies?” And he was like, “Well, then your grandma’s more important than me, wasn’t she?”

And he said it with such an attitude that it made me feel like my grandma didn’t matter to him. My grandma only mattered to me. And, so, I needed to choose what’s more important. Is my education and being in his class and my grade in his class more important than being with my family at a time of grieving?

Now, you can hear the conflict in my voice. You can hear the frustration because, at the time, it was very upsetting to think that, no matter what I did, if I was late for his class, no fault of my own, he was still going to dock me. There were no “excuses.” There were no reasons that it was okay for me to be late. I needed to be on 100% of the time. With him, he was what mattered. His class was what mattered. And I needed to make sure that that was a big thing.

Now, it caused me stress. It caused me anxiety. It caused me frustration because I felt like he was being a very arrogant man in this understanding and the belief. And I just wanted to kind of pound my little fists and stomp my feet and kind of throw a little bit of a temper tantrum.

I wanted to change his mind. I wanted to help him understand where I stood. And, yet, he was the authority, and it was not my place to prove him I’m wrong. It would just cause a problem between me and him, and the rest of the class would be witness to that. And because he was the authority, he’d probably dock my grade, and I was just in trouble and screwed. So, I had to conform to his attitude of, “He was the most important.”

Made me mad, above-a-three mad. Didn’t like being that way. And, yet, this is what I had to accept. And because I was above a three, if you go back and listen to my podcasts, you’ll know that I knew the issue was with me. The issue was not his. The issue was all with me. I was looking at this the wrong way.

Absolutely. My grandma being sick is more important than that class for that day. And my safety on the freeway is absolutely a given. If I wanted coffee, and I was running late, and I decided to go to Starbucks and get coffee and be late for class, that is something in my control. I should have gotten up early. I should have planned my time better or not gotten coffee. Absolutely. Sleeping through my alarm. Any other irresponsible thing that I have control over is unacceptable. However, there are things we can control and things that we cannot control. That is life.

Conversation I had with family when we were playing cards made me think of all of the times that we don’t have time for. And this fed into my conversation with this teacher, back in school.

We often say, “I don’t have time for that.” “I don’t have time to learn how to play 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 for self-care.” “I don’t have time to look for a new job that would make me happier.” “I don’t have time.”

Saying, “I don’t have time,” is actually another way of saying, “It’s not that important right now.” Do you see why that brought me back to the lesson of the years prior? What’s important right now?

With that teacher, what’s important was my education. And he cared about my education, and he wanted me to get that, which is why he was insistent that you were in class because you never know what you will lose or miss out on not being there. He cared about my education. The way that he brought it across, I may not have agreed with. And, yet, he was right.

When you say, “I don’t have time to … ” it means that it is just not a dominant thing on your priority list. It means that the choice to do some self-care and read a book is more important than learning a couple of chords on the guitar. It means taking the kids to school or picking the kids up from school is more important than that little bit of self care. It means what you do choose is more important than what you did not choose.

And I’m not saying that as an accusation. I totally understand how it can feel like an accusation and make somebody really, really mad. Please hear it the way I intend it.

Absolutely. There are going to be times that you need to choose one thing over another. And the thing that you do choose is the thing that is important. When you say, “I don’t have time for that …” Let me give you an example.

In my studio, I needed some shelves built. And I was like, “I have the tools. I have the wood. I have the stain. I have everything I need to do that. So, I’m just going to build those shelves myself.”

And a week went by. And I just said, “Well, I didn’t have time for that.” And another week went by, “Well, I didn’t have time for that.” And the next week. And I said, “I’m going to plan for it, and I’m going to get it done this week.”

And the next week came, and I didn’t get it done. Two months went by where I did not build those shelves, and I kept saying, “I don’t have time for that.”

Well, in reality, I was saying those shelves are just not that important. The problem with that is that I was starting to feel really guilty. And I was starting to feel really upset about the fact that I kept saying that I wanted to do it, but I wasn’t doing it. And the shelves weren’t getting made, which was really frustrating and upsetting and disappointing to me.

So, I started to beat myself up because I wasn’t following through. And I was really upset that I wasn’t following through because I try really hard to follow through on what I say I’m going to do. So, it started to be this thing where I was beating myself up and tearing myself down because I wasn’t following through on the shelves, and I don’t have time for that.

So, what did I do? I found somebody that could build the shelves for me. And I said, “Okay. You build the shelves. I’ll be able to stain them. That’ll be a great trade-off. I’ll feel better about that.” And they said, “Okay, great.”

They built the shelves. Shelves are fabulous. Love the shelves. Two months went by, and I hadn’t stained them. It turns out that every thing else that I needed to do was more important to me than staining those darn shelves. It wasn’t that important. I did find somebody to do it. I found somebody to take care of it for me because, absolutely, whatever I was doing instead was more important than those shelves. Do you want to know the reality of it? I was avoiding it. I’m going to be totally honest with you in this moment, right here, right now. I didn’t have the time because I was avoiding it.

I didn’t want to have to get the drills out. I didn’t want to have to do the measuring. I didn’t want to have to cut the shelf angles and get it all correct, so that it would fit just right in the corner, because these were shelves that were going to hold musical instruments. And I really didn’t want to have to do that.

So, instead of taking the time to pull the drills out and pull out the saw and pull out all of that stuff, I just kept saying, “No. I don’t have time for that.” Instead of putting on my big girl panties and saying, “You know what? I know how to use the saw. I can handle this. I am totally cool with this.”

I said, “I really don’t want to, so I’m just not going to.” And, over time, that ended up making me feel like I was a failure. I was screwing up because I wasn’t following through. In reality, I was afraid. In reality, I didn’t want to deal with all the drills. In reality, I didn’t want to cut something wrong and screw it up and then look at it and be frustrated every time I looked at it. So, saying, “I don’t have time for that,” was actually a way for me to avoid doing what really needed to be done.

When was the last time you said, “I don’t have time for that. I don’t have time for that. I don’t have time for that.” And, then, at the last minute, it’s like, “Crap. I have to do that. There is no more time. I am forced to do this.” You can’t say, “I don’t have time for that” anymore.

And then you’re frustrated that you actually have to do it. If you sit back and acknowledge, “You know what? I didn’t have time for that because I really didn’t want to do it. I really had no desire to face that and deal with it.” So, “No. I didn’t have time for it then. And now that it’s the 11th hour, of course, I have time for it because I have to do it.”

Some of the things we can choose not to do, and it’s not going to matter. It’s not going to hurt us. We’re not going to be in big trouble. It’s just like, “I don’t want to do that, so I don’t have time for that.”

Other things we put off, and we create a little problem for ourselves. And then we’re frustrated and annoyed and kicking ourselves, bludgeoning ourselves because, “You know what? I did have time. I just chose not to.” That’s the change. “I have time. I chose not to.”

There are absolutely times that self-care is more important than doing whatever else it is that needs to be done. There are absolutely times that sitting on the couch and playing a game on your phone is going to be way more beneficial for you than going out and building a shelf.

Own it. Instead of saying, “I don’t have time for the shelves,” I should have just said, “I really don’t want to. I really wish somebody else would do that. So, is there a way that I can do that?”

And if I had done that, instead of four months of beating myself over the head for failing to get it done, it would have just been done, and I would have eliminated all of that upset and frustration.

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 just isn’t as important as this other stuff.”

If it is important, then you have to make that shift. If it is important, then you have to say, “Okay. You know what? This is really important. I’m not really thrilled about it. Let’s face my fears. Let’s face my frustration, as to what’s going on. Maybe remove some of those obstacles, so that I can just get it done.” Or hire someone else to build your shelves.

However that works for you. That’s great. Stop saying, “I don’t have time for it.” Because, generally speaking, there is time, somewhere.

“I don’t have time to work out.” Really? Could you get up 15 minutes earlier? “I don’t have time to eat healthy food.” “I don’t have time to read a book.”

Think of all the things that you tell yourself, “I don’t have time for that.” And then take a minute. Just pick one of them. Out of that list, pick one of them. And ask yourself, “Why don’t I have time for that?” Is there a fear? What is your block? What is stopping you from taking the time to do that? Is that blockage overcomeable? What can you do to change it? What can you do to say, “Oh. I actually do have time for that.” If the blockage is something that you just can’t get over, who can you give that task to, so that you are freed up from the guilt and frustration of not doing it?

“I don’t have time for that.” Uh-uh. It’s just not that important.

I challenge you to play around with it. I challenge you to look at it and see what it is that you can take off of your plate. What is it that you can remove from the weight that you carry? What can you achieve in those 10 minutes that it would have taken you to A, B, C? What can you achieve? How can you shift it? How can you change it?

You can learn an instrument in five minutes a day. It doesn’t take that long. You just have to find the right teacher. You can learn to sing in five minutes a day. You can lift weights and work out. You can learn woodshop. Whatever little things that you want to learn or have to do, you can get it done. You can succeed. And if you can’t succeed, who do you have in your corner that can help you out?

Let’s shift it from, “I don’t have time for that,” to “I either do have time for that, and it’s not important,” or “I do have time for that, and I want to go do it right now.”

Have some fun. Play around. See what new things that you can do and see how much better life is when you actually own whether or not, “Ain’t nobody got time for that.”

I hope this moment of self-care and healing brought you some hope and peace. I’m @KrystalJakosky on Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube. And I hope you check us out and follow along for more content coming soon. I look forward to being with you again here, on Breathe In, Breathe Out. Until next time, take care.

Breathe In, Breathe Out is a weekly mindfulness and meditation podcast hosted by yours truly, Krystal Jakosky. Each week, we’ll release a brand new lesson or meditation focused on helping you navigate your life by giving YOU the tools to become your own healer.

Breathe In, Breathe Out is available now – wherever you get your podcasts.

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