At it again, guilty as charged! I’ve been doing some pondering lately….I found that something I’ve heard now and again over the years really irritates me. Kind of silly when you hear what it is, but the thought behind it is nerve wracking to me.
At some point in your life, I’m quite sure you’ve stated to someone that you ‘don’t have the time’ to do whatever it is you don’t have time for. Then, nearly as soon as those words have left your mouth, you’re met with the response: “well, we all have the same 24 hours in a day”. THAT’S IT! That’s an irritant to me, especially since it’s often said in a rather boastful and haughty tone, as if you are a lazy bum if you can’t work whatever it is into your schedule, or that you simply don’t care enough to do thus and such.
WHY does this statement make my skin crawl, you ask? More than anything, it’s the spirit behind it. Sure, there are 24 hours in a day; however, all 24 hours aren’t meant to be productive. Out of those 24 hours, 6-8 hours are assigned to sleep. Then there are hours dedicated to a job, chores, school, or what have you. And of course, there is time carved out for eating meals, reading, driving, yard work, etc. Imagine if you will, a pie to represent your 24 hours. Now divide that pie according to your day’s worth of activities and responsibilities. The time that is left is typically minimal. Within that “free time” or whatever you want to call it, is prime time, or time to spend as you deem necessary.
What people who make this statement aren’t considering for their victims is that we are all in different stages of life. Some have young children which take up oodles of their time since the kiddos can’t do much for themselves. Some are caring for elderly parents. Some work full-time jobs, and of those, considerable travel may be involved. Some are single parents who virtually have no down time. While some are empty-nesters allowing for a little more time. Additionally, some have family nearby that share some of the load.
So you see, when you get down to it, we all don’t have the same 24 hours. We do, but we don’t. Blanket statements thrown around such as this one, are just that: blanket statements. Let’s face it, we all have limitations. Some physical, or mental, or emotional. Some are highly motivated Type A personalities that require little sleep or relaxation. Others are more laid-back, perfectionists at times, who have different personalities and energy levels. We can’t compare people as if we’re robots. Not to forget, everyone has a different priority list. My priority for the day very possibly is not your priority, and likewise.
What I’m saying is we need to stop judging each other based upon our own standard of productivity. We need to offer a little more grace and compassion to those we encounter, who are most likely among friends.
Comparison is not a fair measuring tool, and will get us in trouble. Accept where you are productively and don’t project that onto someone else. In doing so, I think we’ll find more harmony in our circle of influence.
Stepping off my soap box now…..