Let’s be honest…

Let’s be honest… February 6, 2012

I overheard a conversation between two mothers in a waiting room the other day.  One happened to be gorgeous and very put together.  The other, pretty enough, looks a little like a run down Mom.  The conversation turned to makeup.  Oh, said the run down mom, I don’t wear makeup, I don’t have time in the mornings.  Don’t have time, asked the other mom, “or can’t be bothered?”

It was friendly, (not as bitchy as it might sound), and the two women laughed, but I have been thinking about it for days.

This is not a post about make up, but about the things in general that we “don’t have time” for.  Sure, in the most desperate of survival modes, we have very little time, but mostly we do pick and choose how we spend our time, don’t we?  So, bible reading — don’t have time, or can’t be bothered?  Home cooked dinner — don’t have time, or can’t be bothered?  Volunteer work — don’t have time, or can’t be bothered?  Haircut — don’t have time, or can’t be bothered?  Call your grandmother — don’t have time, or can’t be bothered?

Again, no judgements here about how you (or I) should prioritize the time we do have, just a moment to reflect on whether we are really honest with ourselves when we say we don’t have time.  How long does it take — 10 minutes?  It’s not a matter of time.

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  • So true. I’ve been trying to change my vocabulary so that I day, “I didn’t MAKE time for whatever,” not “I didn’t HAVE time.” Well said, and thanks for the reminder!

  • Rightsaidred Builder

    LOVE. THIS. POST.u00a0

  • Anonymous

    u00a0I am totally guilty of this. I am ashamed to say that if I even took half the time I spend on the computer every day, I’d be wearing make-up, I wouldn’t be so ashamed at the state of my house, and I’d be all caught up with the sewing that I need to get done.u00a0 nnMaybe, I should go break out the sewing machine now.

  • Mary Alice

    A long time ago another friend changed “we can’t afford it” to “we chose to spend our money in other ways” which is so true, also.u00a0 No one (or very few anyway) can afford everything, but we do have some choice in the matter.

  • Wow- I really need to step back and think about this and how this sort of attitude affects my life.u00a0 This could be the basis for a great Examination of Conscience!u00a0 Thank you for bringing this up.

  • Saoirse

    u00a0Examination of Conscience indeed!u00a0 I am so guilty of this. I am busy – and go out of my way to do EVERYTHING needed for my sons.u00a0 When it comes to me and my appearance – it might not be a time issue – but rather a I could not be bothered issue. u00a0 It does however make me wonder – while I go out of my way to make sure my sons don’t do such things – what kind of example am I setting with my own actions.u00a0u00a0

  • B-mama

    Ooo, great idea for examination of conscience. u00a0I need to remember this issue particularly at my next confession…

  • JMB

    I think it helps to try to do stuff really fast and then you see how quickly it takes to get it done.u00a0 I remember reading Danielle Bean a long time ago and she had an entry on laundry and basically she said just time yourself folding laundry and see how long it takes – 15 minutes?u00a0 And here you are fretting about it?u00a0 So just do it.u00a0 It takes me 5 minutes to slap some makeup on, 10 minutes to shower (I only wash my hair twice a week) and if I know what I’m going to wear, another 5 minutes to get dressed in the am.u00a0 What are we talking about here – 25 minutes at most?nnAnyway, I did once complain to a priest during confession that I couldn’t make it to mass during the week.u00a0 He said – why not?u00a0 You find time to exercise almost every day, find time for it.u00a0 And he’s right, I do live in a very congested area where at any given our (except for early afternoon), there is a daily mass within 10 minutes from my house.

  • Mary Alice

    u00a0This works well with kids chores, too, to time it, so that they know that the horrible task you are asking them to do only really takes five minutes, no need to whine about it.u00a0 We have a policy that if it takes you more than 15 minutes to clean up your room, you have too much stuff and you need to get rid of some.u00a0 This is an incentive both to minimize and to clean up faster!n

  • Cecilia

    MaryAlice, I think you have a good point, but I think you’re probably younger than I am, too. I’m in my 40s and my oldest of 3 kids is 8. What I find is that it’s isn’t just time by the clock, but a limited amount of energy. I don’t mean make up per se because I don’t wear it, but some other stuff. For example, I have to hand wash all the dishes, but if I do so, I won’t have much energy to cook dinner, esp. since we have multiple diets/food allergies, making all meals labor intensive (and generating more dishes to wash!) It’s one thing if we can’t be bothered with something that gives energy, like reading the bible, and another thing if we avoid something that drains energy.

  • Mary Alice

    u00a0Cecilia, I completely agree, and I often have to remind myself to not participate in activities that drain energy, especially ones that don’t help my family in any way — for example, if I am super tired at night, I will sometimes leave the dishes to the morning, knowing that it makes more sense to get to bed and I can quickly tidy up before breakfast, but also trying to remember in the future to take the 10 minutes to finish the kitchen before I move on to other things so that I don’t get to that point of exhaustion too often.u00a0 On the other hand, I have learned that all internet fighting really, really drains me, it is not worth my time to participate in fighting over Komen/PP and responding to comments from people who disagree, not because the argument is not worth having but because I am so drained by it that I am useless for the rest of the day.u00a0 For right now, with such a demanding life, I need to leave that work to those with more combative temperaments, who are energized by the fight!

  • Thank you so much for this post – such a refreshing change of perspective! I’ve been thinking about this all weekend: what do I make time (instead of “have” time) for? It’s helping me see my nagging to-dos that never seem to get done, in a whole new light – how do I make time for what matters? Or if I’m not making time for them, what does that tell me?