Are We Flitting Time?

“How did it get so late so soon?”

Dr Seuss

Every moment, we’re spending time. As a school-free mama, a lot of my time is spent worrying that I’m not doing it right: parenting. Homeschooling. Life.

Recently, I’ve come to a conclusion:

I don’t care if I get it wrong.

It doesn’t matter if I use too much curriculum, or too little. The wrong resources. The wrong approach. If we have too many outings, or take too many classes, or not enough. Whether I choose the best routines. If I’m not the best and most organised or inspired mama on the street. It’s irrelevant. None of that matters.

What matters is time.

The gift of time that I give to myself, and my children.

Our time.

This is what matters. It’s the only thing we’ve really got, if you think about it. Are we flitting time? Are we spending it too expensively?

When being with my children and being attentive with them is my priority, and they know it; it’s a gift I get back.

When I give my time to what matters, I get to have it.

I get to keep my time with my children and cherish it, for all time. Not spend it on expensive worries, that pay no dividends. Like, are my kids doing enough maths. Are their rooms clean enough… Am I being mum proficiently enough… Are our home aesthetics enough… Is our ‘learning’ enough… or any other inane concerns. These are the blahs of an existence that is otherwise strewn with finer things:

  • The warm spaces on the couch, where we’ve creased the pages of books we read together.
  • The mess in the kitchen, that we abandoned for sunshine.
  • The dishevel we savoured, instead of stressed over.
  • The outing that wasn’t great, but that we spent together and laughed about, together.

Yep. I’ve let go. Of the many trivialities that eat up the present. I’ve let go of worries that clutter the minutes; to reclaim my now. It’s a part of being toxin-free. Toxins don’t all live in polluted food, water, or air. Some of them live in our mind, if we let them. They become chemical imbalances, and fester. They harm us; physically, and emotionally. Monsters. Eating up our moments.

I believe worry is a conditioned state. We’re given constant messages about the way things should be, that have us lamenting the past, fretting irrelevances, and being anxiety ridden over what’s to come, or what we’ve missed. At the expense of savouring now.

Our family’s decision to go school-free was as much about time as anything. We wanted to reclaim our time together. Wasting time worrying about whether we’re doing it right is pretty silly of me. It’s, well, a waste of precious time. It’s one mama, spending the most precious commodity she has, on things that don’t matter.

Spending time on worries is actually losing time. It’s the same as spending your money on things you don’t want. You don’t get it back. Once you part with it, it’s gone.

A few years ago I wrote a poem about how the Nows go pretty quickly. You can read it here. I wrote it when my children were small. In the present now, one of my children is as tall as me, and the other is taller. They still know how to use time. They use it beautifully, fully, fearlessly, instinctively. Without worry. I don’t want to condition them to flit it, otherwise.

The moments we spend matter. A lot. Once we spend them, they’re gone. And we’ve either wiled them meaningfully, or not. A rough realisation, isn’t it?

The most beautiful thing you’ll read today, about the moments that really matter, is here:

How to Build a Life Worth Remembering, by Kimberly Coyle.

For more thoughts about reclaiming time, go here:

Reclaim Your Time, by Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus.

To use your time beautifully, go here:

If you really want to know how to use your time, in ways that have meaning and matter; consider spending time with the experts:

“Time is a game played beautifully by children.”

Heraclitus, Fragments.

Featured image credited to Shells for free.

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