There are times in my life where I have crystal clear moments of clarity. Moments when I can step back and fully appreciate that bullshit that is taking place and somehow corralled me into its circus. It’s almost an out of body experience; like I’m part of a movie montage where some spirit is trying to provide me an objective point of view of all the time I’m wasting in my life by putting up with nonsense.
I recently had one of these moments. In the midst of a bitch fest with a friend about people posting stupid comments on our Facebook feeds and when it’s acceptable to block people it came to me.
“I don’t have time for this shit,” I typed into messenger. “Feel free to adopt this mantra as well.”
It wasn’t a dig at her. I’ll always have time for a good old fashion bitch fest with my friends because that is literally what friends are for; to bitch to someone and have them join in without question. Trying to get the full story and see both sides of the situation? That is not the type of friend I need in my life. No, this light bulb moment was directed at the people who suck up time that could otherwise be applied to more fruitful or enjoyable endeavors. “Delete, block this bitch, and move on!” is what I told my friend.
One of my freelance gigs is as administrative support for a small business. We deal with clients and with contractors. There is always someone trying to demand all of our time for the smallest thing. I have found myself going around and around in emails that solve exactly nothing or trying to find a compromise to something that shouldn’t even be up for discussion. I’m sure Bill Gates wasn’t spending hours a day redoing the same work over and over again because the client didn’t know what they bought. And I’m sure Mark Zuckerberg isn’t negotiating with his employees when they don’t fulfill their responsibilities. So then, why the hell am I? Read your contract, do your job, and leave me be.
And I’d be remiss if I failed to point out all the little obligations that start out small and morph into some long-term commitment. I have no problem volunteering to help out once or twice at my kid’s sport but I will not take over coaching. Why does volunteering for the school yearbook committee involve seventeen full length emails and very specific instructions on how to take pictures and who should be the subject of said pictures? I just signed up to take pictures of the class parties so I don’t look like a weirdo when I do it. No, I’m not attending every school fundraiser night at every local chain restaurant in the district. No, I’m not signing my kids up for every extracurricular activity. No, I’m not coming home for every family celebration or holiday. And no, you’re not coming here for every celebration or holiday either.
I don’t have time for this shit.
Since my epiphany in early December I’ve applied this mantra / sentiment / battle cry to an amazing number of situations and something equally amazing has happened.
I have time to get all of my work done by the end of the day. I have time to make my family dinner and we can eat it at a reasonable time. I have time to enjoy with my family after said dinner or hell even for myself. I’m not rushing. I’m not racing. My Christmas cards were sent on time. My Christmas shopping was completed ten days before Christmas. All of my gifts were wrapped and mailed ahead of schedule. All because I finally said, “I don’t have time for this shit!”
I gave up on New Year’s resolutions a few years ago and moved on to choosing a word to focus on each year. Well this year I’m going to focus on seven words and I hope you will too.