Where did the time go?
There just aren’t enough hours in a day.
But shit man… there are simply not enough hours in a day, or let alone… days in a weekend.
I thought about this greatly today as I finished the biggest portion of the painting of the baby’s nursery. I pulled off the painters tape, I sat down on the stool that once held the paint bucket, and then I stared at all the small mistakes from the paint seeping under the small pockets of air in the tape that I was now going to have to take more time out of my life to fix… Why couldn’t it have just come out right the first time? God knows I tried–and tried hard.
But as I wasted, now, a second weekend in that slowly developing, painter’s nightmare of a nursery, I can’t begin to list the full checklist of the other obligations that I had to either irresponsibly push-off, or make a conscious decision to do at a later date. For instance: Fix my lawn mower.
Last weekend my dogs thought it would be a good idea to chew through the pull cord on my lawn mower instead of play with the dozen(s) of toys they already have (or rip out more branches on my rose bushes like they usually do), so instead of moving forward with the plans I had of re-seeding the lawn and taking charge of my back yard again (something I could only do because I was… was ahead on my homework) I had to go to Lowe’s, buy a pull cord and figure out how to fix my lawnmower. And let’s face it, a trip to Lowe’s or the Depot of Homes isn’t an in-and-out thing, no. We spent half-an-hour in there at least.
Needless to say, when I get another free moment, I’ll have to youtube how to fix my lawnmower because for the life of me, I can’t seem to figure out a basic mechanical pulley.
Or how about taking time out in my day for the necessary things like grocery shopping?
Paps and I haven’t had a full on grocery shopping spree in well over two months. Which forces us to grab quick food or order out. But the thing is, when we have a free moment to go grocery shopping… oh who am I kidding… I’m writing this at 12:16 am… there hasn’t been a free moment for me in months.
My yard looks like a rain forest mixed in with Weed War 2.
My dogs have taken over the house with their rogue shedding, and constant reminders that I haven’t spent enough time housebreaking them.
My wife is super pregnant and gets a pass on the deep cleaning.
Dust collects right after I finish dusting.
Homework never stops.
Laundry… well, laundry.
I need more time…
Or another me.
But, I’ll settle for more time.
It seems as if I’m constantly doing something. I’m constantly cleaning something. I’m constantly organizing something. I’m constantly not enjoying my time with me, because I’m giving my time to something else. And I’m so involved with something that once I think “shit I could’ve been doing laundry at the same time,” or “I could’ve made that phone call during that 20 minute drive,” it’s too late. And hindsight is a salt-pouring bitch.
I’m jealous of adults who have time to play video games, or spend 2 hours at the gym like I used to. I’m jealous of people’s homes, the ones when I walk in to them it looks like they found the secret to keep shit under control. I’m jealous when people show me a product of their elaborate hobbies… I’m simply jealous when people simply have time for shit.
*Side Story*: My friend picked me up in the wee hours of the morning last Saturday to get in a hike before I focused my attention to a project I had due that Sunday. He had told me he was picking me up and to give no excuses. I was telling him facts (not excuses) about how I just couldn’t find time in my normal everyday life to get in the gym like I’ve been wanting. He told me that “you make time for the things you want.” Sounds like something I would’ve said 5 years ago when I didn’t care about not coming home or spending time with my “family.” When he said that, I simply texted him, “remind me on Saturday to tell you how people get and stay rich…”
On Saturday, I briefly touched on that people who have money, have someone doing the things that we can’t afford to pay people to do. The cleaning, the cooking, the shopping, hell… even some have someone else raising their kids in their homes. Rich people pay people for free time basically, and then utilize their free time for business. But if they had to do all the lawn maintenance, and cleaning, and shopping that normal people had to, they wouldn’t have time for their work… A double-edged sword.
I’m in no way saying that rich people haven’t or don’t pay their dues… I’m trying to get at how I see things in the bigger picture.
My loss of controlling my schedule scares me. I’m scared for when Baby X is born, because I know that what I can’t accomplish now as a childless man, I’ll NEVER be able to accomplish as a man with child and a different set of obligations. If dishes are piling up now, what’s it going to look like when I can’t do them cause I’m burping the baby, then have to get him ready for bath and bed? If I can’t commit to taking care of my yard now, am I going to turn into that neighbor that people turn their noses up to because I’m seemingly bringing down the value of the neighborhood? What happens to the dogs I can barely squeeze in play time with right now? What about my health…
I literally sat there and defeatedly stared at my imperfections on the wall, in my imperfect paint job, as if they represented the imperfections in my time management capabilities, the imperfections in my abilities to do things right the first time… my imperfections in my life.
I should’ve started my Stress Management class’ final project today that’s due on Weds.
Instead I finished painting.
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Posted in Dissapointment, Fear, Getting Readywith 12 comments.
Thank you for writing this post. This is my life today. I just finished a class and final this week, sold my cat and bought another, registered it, sanded, taped, and am painting the nursery, and work and home responsibilities are in a big stack. I hope all is going well for you. (Haven’t read anything else on your blog yet) – thank you again.
*car, not cat
You sounds like a busy man, so I’m honored you took the time to read the blog. I was in your shoes with the nursery stuff just recently. It come out pretty good. http://thescareddad.com/nursery/
I wish you luck with the new cat! Haha!
Man, I would get worked up like you all the time when I worked. Now as a stay-at-home dad, I still have my stressful moments, but not as bad. I simply hated being in an office and sitting.
But as another commenter said, enjoy the time pre-baby, because as I’m finding out, it doesn’t get easier. And the pets, we have a cat and dog, and they are lucky to get a pat on the head anymore.
I think the best advice is to just enjoy the moment you’re in. This helps me when I remember to heed the way and I wish you luck too! Things will all work out…..I think
… I hope.
Are you thinking about going back to work?
Thanks for reading by the way!
Eventually, I hope to find something in the fitness/nutrition world since that’s where my passion lies, but not sure what, when, or how. For now, the focus is on raising our daughter, so I’ll deal with that later.
And keep up the great posts, you have some quality stuff in here and I can relate to a lot of it!
I completely agree that we will never have enough time. (And by the way, like you, I think about what else I could have accomplished while doing X, Y, Z.) Try to enjoy the time you do have before the baby comes. Things will get done because you will have to get them done. It might not be at the same standard as you expected from yourself 5 years ago or pre-parenthood, but it will be good enough. It’s not a cop-out or setting yourself for lower expectations, but just a way to try to stay sane.
That’s great advice… I’m going to have to start writing these notes down! Haha!
Thanks for reading Romina!
Hey bro, I’ve been blessed to marry a woman who is phenomenal at time management. She pretty much had to with me being deployed for eight months while our son was still an infant. Granted she had some help from grandma but very little. I am the opposite. Outside of work time management and multitasking are not my best qualities. My mentor recommend a couple of books that helped tremendously. Personally and professionally. “The Four Hour Work Week” by Tomothy Ferris and “The Compound Effect” (The author’s name escape me at the moment). If you don’t have much time to read, the later is avalilable as an audio book. Not sure about the first one. I hope this helps. Welcome to parenthood bro.
Juan, I actually don’t have time to read so I recently just started listening to audiobooks. So thanks for the recommendation.
I’m usually pretty good at time management, but ever since I started aggressively trying to finish my degree program, there’s no hope for free time.
I’ll probably pick up both books. Did they help permanently?
Thanks for reading by the way.
It’s Mark. This is a good post, and I don’t have any answers for you. All I can do is echo the feeling. Not only is there not enough time in the day, but if I could somehow add more hours, I’d probably want to use them to get the sleep I desperately need, instead of adding projects. Want in one hand, you know what in the other.
Your friend was right, we make the time for the things we want, but the trick is setting the priorities. I haven’t learned that trick yet, I sort of jump from one priority to the next.
I don’t know if I even come close to “the man that lives in a wooden shoe with so many kids he didn’t know what to do’s problems with time management. In my eyes, you and Lu are far more superior than the average family.
It seems as if school and the upkeep of my home are more important to me than my health if both of your are right, and it seems I may have some reorganization of prioritizing to do!
Thanks for reading Mark!