My best friend in college had a habit of getting herself in over her head–or at least, signing up for more than seemed humanly possible. This irked me because (1) it was stressful to watch her running around like crazy trying to do everything, (2) because she made it look easy to do the impossible, and I felt pathetic in comparison, and (3) because I wanted to do things with her in my free time but it seemed she rarely had any free time.
“Do you have anything going on Saturday?” I’d ask.
“Oh, I have about seventeen hours of voice, guitar, and piano practice, two papers to write, and homework for eight classes,” she’d say. “But since there’s no way I’ll get it done anyway, we might as well go on a hike.”
It seemed so illogical and fatalistic at the time. You don’t have time to do it all, so you’re just giving up? She’d set those tasks all aside temporarily to do something else every now and then because otherwise, she’d NEVER do anything else, and she knew it. She wasn’t just giving up.
“If I had time to get it done, that would be one thing. But it’ll never be done, it can’t be done, there’s no hope. Let’s go.” That’s not a quote, but the sentiment is the same.
So we went.
She knew that if she always did the “important things” first, the important things would never really get done.
I didn’t understand then, but I totally get it now. That’s kind of why I’m writing this blog post. I don’t have time to write it any more than my friend had time to spend her Saturday doing a ten-mile hike in the mountains.
I have diaper laundry to stuff, fold, and put away. I have articles to write, and now would be the ideal time to write them. I have books to read, gifts to wrap, gifts to make, and to top that off, suddenly it’s three in the morning and I’m realizing that if I want to get anything done tomorrow, I must sleep now. In three hours, the sun will start coming up, and I have to capitalize on all the daylight hours I can during this bleak time of year when the days only last ten hours to begin with. Later, I’ll wonder why I wasted this hour.
I don’t have time to do anything but what has to be done, but if I only do what really must be done I’ll never catch up, and I might never end up living.