When my daughter asked me if we could wake up at 3:45 am a few months ago to witness the lunar eclipse, I paused and thought to myself that it would probably take an erupting volcano to get me up at that hour . . . but I consented and we shared a special memory I won’t regret, especially in a few short years when she flies off to college. Spectacular moments aside, I just can’t bring myself to wake up at the ungodly hour of 5 a.m. to find time for my writing passion like many busy writers do. In fact, I can’t even think before the sun rises. Anyone other busy single parents with me? For the New Year, let us throw out the resolutions and find some solutions for weaving extra time into normal waking life to do the things we love to do. After all, it is essential that single parents take care of their own needs and find time to enjoy what makes them happy.
- Solution for BUSYWORK: Spinning your wheels to have everything tidied up and in perfect working order every day when you get home from work and school takes up too much time. As an alternative, enlist your kids to help out with the day-to-day chores, especially dinner clean-up. Try cutting corners by using paper plates and begin a weekly schedule to eliminate unnecessary repetition of tasks. The faster you get your house in order each day and get out of the kitchen, the more time you will have to work on your craft or hobby.
- Solution for OVERSCHEDULING: Planning too many activities during the week and then finding your family running from one thing to the next will leave everyone exhausted. Single parents, the bottom line is you can’t do everything. If you are always busy with activities, you will have no time for the things you are truly passionate about. The New Year provides everyone a golden opportunity for a fresh start. Learn to find a balance in 2015. One activity per week per family member is a realistic goal that will cut down on chauffeuring everyone across town and open up more time for you to do what you love.
- Solution for REPLACING: What time-wasters do you currently engage in that bring little profit to your life? What activity can you eliminate to make room for your passion? Identify an activity that you could cut out of your life to create time for what you truly love. For example, cut out fifteen minutes of your daily Facebook time and use it for crafting, painting, scrap booking, or whatever else you love to do instead. Once you eliminate the old activity to make room for the new one, keep that time sacred and make it a part of your New Year routine.
- Solution for FLEXIBILITY: Making your passion a priority in your day-to-day life means being flexible and, if possible, making it mobile. Can you take your craft with you so you can work on it at a soccer game or while waiting for an oil change? For instance, my daughter and I were at an embroidery shop recently, and I asked the owner how she has time for doing her beautiful work. As it turns out, she has little time for embroidery, so she brings her kit with her everywhere and works on it in bits and pieces while waiting in line at Starbucks or in between errands. Likewise, think about ways you can make your passion portable so you can throw it into your bag each morning since you never know when a 10 minute window of opportunity will come up for you to dedicate to your craft. Those minutes will add up to hours of doing more of what you love in 2015!