Time slipping away

There are only so many hours in any given day. It has always been this way and always will be. The trouble comes when they are no longer enough. Over the past 12 months, I have attempted to become more intentional about most of the aspects of my life. Although I appreciate the direction this has led me in, it is a zero-sum game. You gain something; you lose something else.

Time is the most notable cost. It began with small changes – such as going to bed earlier and reading before bedtime. No more working late into the night, just to complete tasks or to work on personal projects. It might not seem significant, but those two to three hours per day add up quickly.

The next impact came from newly (re)discovered hobbies. In my case, hiking and photography. Both require serious dedication. You not going to call it a hike if you spend only 30 minutes walking. It easily extends into hours. And while you can combine it with other positive activities (like spending quality time with children during the hike), it represents yet another substantial toll on the total time available.

Before you realise it, you need to start prioritising. This means making tough choices. Or should I say the obvious choices? For me, it is gradually becoming clear that I need to change my relationship with work. Not that it isn't important, but there are aspects that are clear dead ends. Suddenly, the extra hours carry a very distinct price tag.

To be true to myself, I do not have the answers (yet). This is an ongoing balancing act. Some days I nail it and have all aspects of work duties planned to the last detail, while at other times I feel stretched thin. But it is the awareness – of time slipping away – which is the driving force. It pushes me to think about the things that truly matter. And as daunting as it might seem, I will have to redefine my relationship with work.

While it is impossible to make this a clean break, it needs to change. Obviously, it takes not just courage, but also a clear understanding of exactly what I want.