30 Hours in a Day

I think I’ve just realized one of the reasons why I feel like I’m running on empty so often these days. One of the most wonderful and frustrating things about time is that it is constant and finite. Everyone on Earth receives the same, non-negotiable, non-refundable 24 hour daily allowance to do with as they please. Well, I’ve looked at the numbers and I’m 6 hours over budget. Below are all the hours I would spend everyday if I had all the time in the world.

  • 8 hours of restful sleep – I used to be so disciplined in my sleep schedule before moving off to college. There was still the odd late night when I was up finishing a school project but I was always able to drag myself out of bed in the morning at the sound of my first alarm. In fact I was so good at it that I once rose bright and early, got dressed, ate breakfast, packed my school things and was halfway out the door before my mom reminded me that it was Sunday. Now, it blows my mind that anyone could find time for a full 8 hours of sleep every night. 
  • 9 hours of dedicated work – This was so much easier before stay at home orders which blurred the lines between work and play. Of course, there are perks to the home office; no depressing sack lunch, no groggy commute, no one poking their head into your office to dump some new crisis onto your already full plate (now they do it via conference call). But despite all of that, office time was work time and the drive home after a busy day was a necessary 20 minutes that I relished for recharging my mental batteries.
  • 1 hour of exercise – I’m no fitness guru and you won’t catch me dieting. I just want my jeans to fit right. There’s also something incredibly revitalizing about strenuous physical activity which reassures you that you’re doing something really good for yourself. It’s easy to get bogged down with all the daily mental and emotional clutter and sometimes it seems like progress comes slowly if at all. At the end of the day, it feels so good to work hard. 
  • 4 hours of creative writing – At the moment, this is an incredibly ambitious and idealistic writing goal set to address my blogging and novel writing needs. I’d love to post quality content on this blog every day while also having enough creative juice to finally get a novel on paper. The random snippets of time stolen from my 8 hours of sleep every night are never quite enough to really dig into the ideas that are rattling around in my brain.
  • 1 hour for communicating with friends and family – Phone calls with my parents, plans with work and church friends and texts to old high school buddies are all included in this. I’ve never figured out how best to keep up with all of them, especially in a world of Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, Instagram and every other app that people use these days. When did we all stop talking to each other?
  • 1 hour given to God through dedicated prayer – My faith formation is still in its infancy. I’m learning how to ask God to intercede in my life and sometimes I forget to altogether. I want to strengthen my relationship with him and attune my eyes and ears to his work, even on the bad days. It’s amazing how your life can change when you take time to say ‘thank you’ every single day.
  • 1 hour of reading – There’s nothing better than getting lost in a good book. I’m a firm believer that great readers make great writers. It’s how they learn.
  • 1 hour of music practice – I’ve always loved playing music whether it be in a piano recital, high school concert band, community symphony, the school musical orchestra pit or the college football halftime show. Over the years, my skill and enthusiasm has been subject to the eb and flow of a busy school (and now work) schedule but I was always good enough to know that I could be much better if I set myself to the task.  
  • 1 hour for meal preparation – In fairness, I try to complete the majority of my meal prep on Sunday afternoons. When cooking for one, leftovers are a must. Experimenting with new recipes is a little easier when you know you’d get a day off from master chef duties tomorrow. 
  • 1 hour for cleaning and managing logistical tasks – If turned into a daily task, there’s a good chance this would never actually require a full hour. Tidying as you go is much better than the weekend pileup. There are so many better ways to spend your weekend.
  • 1 hour spent immersing myself in nature – Depending on the day, this could easily be lumped into the exercise hour. I love to hit the trails for a refreshing jog through the thick Indiana air. As much as I love reading, writing, talking with my family, making plans, playing music, at some point, I need to get away from all of that. I need to just be with myself in nature.
  • 1 hour to unwind, relax and recharge – After attempting to finish all that, I’m lucky if my brain hasn’t turned to utter mush while still reeling at one hundred miles per minute. 

I’d love to be the kind of person that can do all of this and still have a little time leftover. However, There are only so many hours in the day. What are you doing with yours?