Remember when you were a kid and school let out for the summer, and the days stretched out before you for miles and miles? When you had time to be bored, which led to the invention of new games, the building of elaborate forts, and—if you were me—a variety of kitchen “innovations” with mixed results, from disgusting goo to actually-pretty-good-for-a-ten-year-old?
Now, days seem to pass like cars of a high-speed train, nearly causing whiplash as they fly by. Yesterday I had an infant. Tomorrow my kid is starting kindergarten.
I’m sure you can relate.
I think this perception of time flying poses a danger. Given the vast responsibilities of adulting, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed by it all. So much so that important things like practicing yoga and making a homemade dinner can feel damn near impossible. It can feel like life is living us. Like, why bother?
A couple times recently I have seen the message, “You have as many hours in a day as Beyonce.” The first time I saw it, I laughed. The second time, I was more contemplative. Beyonce is, obviously, a complete motherloving badass. A mom, wife, philanthropist, musician, actress, fashion designer, mogul…and she’s only 35. How does she do it? I have a guess.
It’s her priorities.
I suspect—unlike some people (cough, me)—Beyonce didn’t spend a year living in Maui slinging Frappuccinos and smoking pot. I doubt she ever sleeps in or that she’s ever seen the Bachelor/ette…
When I was in 9th grade our science teacher did a demonstration. He had several huge rocks, a large scoop of pea gravel, and four cups of sand.
“Do you think I can get all of this stuff into this jar?” he asked us, motioning to the rocks, gravel and sand. Some of us said yes, some said no. “What should I put in first?” he asked us.
We reached a general consensus that he should go smallest to largest: sand, gravel, then rocks. So that’s what he did. By the time he got to the rocks, there was no room left in the jar.
He separated the gravel and sand and asked if we had any other ideas. We all agreed he should try working largest to smallest, instead.
He put the big rocks in. He added the gravel—which cascaded around the big rocks—and then he poured in the sand, slowly working it into the nooks and crannies between the rocks and gravel. And guess what? It all fit!
Given your presence on this site, I’m guessing healthful eating and practicing yoga are important to you. But how important? Are they important enough to make them your big rocks? The things you plan first in your day? What are your “gravel” tasks…laundry, maybe? Answering non-urgent email? And the sand…maybe that’s where smoking pot, sleeping in, and watching the Bachelorette fit in…or maybe it’s time to let that stuff go.
Relative to a day in the life of Beyonce, making time for your yoga practice and cooking a homemade meal don’t seem quite as daunting anymore, amiright? Priorities, people!
Time to get busy,