You know, I think ever since humans started measuring time, we have been chasing it. We really seem to misunderstand time; how many times have you heard, or have you said “If only I had more time!”

Harassed mothers who ask for more hours in the day; overwhelmed business executives that wonder where the week went – and people who would just love to do something – by just don’t have the time!

I was reminded of this at a function I attended last week. I was invited to give a presentation about a book I have just written and at the end a lady came rushing over and said “You are so lucky! I have always wanted to write a book – but I just don’t have the time.” (Mentally place the emphasis on ‘I’ – and realise what she was saying was ‘unlike you, I don’t have the time!)

When I say we misunderstand time, it is because we feel it is flexible, and some people (lucky them) just seem to have more of it than others. But there still is only twenty four hours in a day; seven days in week and the rest of it – so where does their extra time come from?

Now, I don’t want you to run away with the idea that I have always have lots of time to do the things I want – I am afraid that is not true. I also watched and listened to others who had written books and thought exactly the same thing myself – “Ah! If only I had the time!” But I still continued chasing my tail.

My epiphany came when I spent a long time living close to nature and working in with the rhythms of the seasons. Animals don’t have watches, nor do they run their lives by clocks. They wake as the sun rises and settle for sleep when it sets. In some seasons they were filled with boundless energy, and at others they conducted the necessities of the day in a more leisurely fashion. Gradually I found myself settling into a similar rhythm.

And an amazing thing happened – I found there appeared to be more hours in the day; and if I really wanted to do something – like writing – I merely found some space in my schedule.

And that’s the secret – not pining after non-existent extra time; but using the time we have in a more constructive way. Now, I don’t wait until I have the time because that will never happen, I rearrange my space in my routine and factor in the time in I need to write.

In my case that means getting up at 5.30am in winter and at 5.00 in summer. It was a shock to the system to start with, but gradually with perseverance it became the normal routine, and I have learned to love this early morning time to myself. In winter I am treated to the amazing spectacle of the sun rising, and wake to a morning bird chorus; a musical recital just for me.

In summer, the early morning breezes bring the perfumes of the garden into my study through my open window. These hours have become very precious to me, but I had to find them first.

It all revolves around just how much you really want to do that something you “Just don’t have time for” because to rearrange your routine takes commitment. I had to struggle when I first changed my routine, because my bed was warm and cosy on those cold winter mornings, and “surely, another five minutes wouldn’t matter!” – but we all know what happens when we tell ourselves that – yes, we wake up an hour later!

But I had given a commitment to have the book completed by a specific time, and I have always been taught to honour my word. So that kept me grimly getting out of bed before even the cats were awake, and now, as I said, it has become my routine.

Actually ‘The Mystic Princess’ (my highly expensive pedigree cat with no common sense whatsoever) has taken to joining me in the study and sitting alongside me with pathetic expression of face. She believes that humans moving in the early hours of the morning should mean an early first breakfast – however she has learned different and now merely sits – creating a comfortable sense of sisterhood!

We find the same misconception with people who bemoan the lack of daylight saving here in Queensland. “If only we had daylight saving! I would be able to ……” Let me tell you folks, all daylight saving is doing is tricking you into getting up an hour earlier – and you don’t need a change in the clocks to do that for heaven’s sake.

So to the woman who gushed all over me, and made it sound that her time was so much more precious and important than mine – I merely say, when the need to write the book is more important than some of the other things you are choosing to do; then you will find that elusive time.

It’s not the time we have that is important; it is what we choose to do in the hours available to us.

Michele @ Trischel

Updatethanks to those who sent me great ideas for winding down after the last blogpost -some were brilliant! However I was a little less adventurous and settled for chocolate and red wine and rearranged my priorities!!! Worked a treat!

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