I love calendars, especially the twelve month variety with a beautiful picture on each page. They usually arrive in December, and I enjoy selecting the ones I will use during the coming year. On the first of January, I hang two new calendars, one in my study and another in my shop, while Marti does the same in the kitchen and at her desk. Of course, we must discard the old calendars, but I can never do so without a moment of reflection. Twelve pages of numbers tossed into heaps of household trash, but what momentous events those rumpled pages represent. Days of our lives now gone, like fallen leaves of autumn.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, American Time Use Survey (2012), the average working person between the ages of 25-54 spends 2.5 hours per workday in leisure and sports (is Facebook a sport?).
That’s 12.5 hours per week, about 50 hours per month, and roughly 600 hours per year. And remember—that does not include weekends! While we certainly need rest and recharging for the many tasks God provides, perhaps we can ask ourselves what we are doing with that 600 hours per year.
Consider some of these estimates:
I’m sure that every single reader of Sharper Iron has time management issues of some kind. We are all busy—and many are busy beyond juggling family, work, and ministry while trying to nurture one’s own physical and spiritual health and well-being. We are stressed, overwhelmed, and downright cranky.
My story probably doesn’t sound much different from anyone else’s. I’ve been a stay-at-home homeschooling mom for over 20 years, caring for an elderly mother with Alzheimer’s, organizing activities at church, leading a homeschool support group, writing for my blog, and hey—let’s not forget handling registrations for Sharper Iron. I sometimes don’t know how I got it all done, and then sometimes I didn’t. The laundry piled up, we ordered pizza for dinner, and I figured floors were just supposed to look like that, ‘cause they are, you know, floors.
I thought it would get better when my mom moved out into a nursing facility, and two more kids graduated from our homeschool. But as any workaholic will tell you, we just find ways to fill those gaps. I took a part-time job as an administrative assistant at our local Chamber of Commerce, and started writing a book.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, American Time Use Survey (2012), the average working person between the ages of 25-54 spends 2.5 hours per workday in leisure and sports (is Facebook a sport?). That’s 12.5 hours per week, about 50 hours per month, and roughly 600 hours per year. And remember—that does not include weekends! While we certainly need rest and recharging for the many tasks God provides, perhaps we can ask ourselves what we are doing with that 600 hours per year.
One Saturday not too long ago, my husband was having a particularly trying morning. His conclusion was that the only sensible thing to do was pack everyone in the car and go fishing…have a picnic too.
I was not so sensible that morning. Had you been in the kitchen while I was attempting to wrangle a picnic lunch without any heads-up, you would have heard (out of ear-shot of the kids, of course):
“Doesn’t he realize I have three lessons to finalize today for church tomorrow?”…”How can I get a lunch together for the whole family? It would have been helpful to be able to plan for this!”…”And what about the laundry??? I’m up to my eyeballs in it!”…”The baby is due for her nap in about 30 minutes, too!”
I had had the day perfectly planned in my mind. I knew exactly how each of the little colored containers of leftovers in the fridge would be employed that day. I was going to work on my lessons while Katie napped. My laundry would be happily humming away while all of this was transpiring…blissful multi-tasking. I would get so much accomplished!
Now, to my mind, I would get nothing accomplished except watching poor little crickets meet their demise as fish fodder. I would get to chase Kate around and keep her from drowning herself. I would have the privilege of cooking lunch on the grill while the mosquitoes feasted upon me.
Read Part 1.
by Debi Pryde
A second road takes workers to a place called “burnout.” This path looks inviting because it isn’t crowded. There are no family cars on this road—nothing but single-passenger vehicles. Everyone’s in a hurry to get where he is going, so there’s no lingering, no time for making friends, no time to ask anyone for directions, and no time to listen to others talk. People who travel this route don’t take time to get close to anyone, including their own family members. Consequently, relationships tend to be superficial; there’s no time to cultivate genuine, mutual intimacy. Acquaintances and admirers may be many but companions few. Sadly, this solo style of traveling tends to have its greatest impact on family relationships—even worse on one’s relationship with the Lord.