A Minute to Spare

I’ve always found the passage of time to be fascinating. Years can fly by, while minutes drag into infinity. When doing a workout in the gym, the 30 seconds of work seems to last an eternity, yet the 60 seconds of rest is gone before I can even blink (much to my dismay, I assure you). And you know the other thing about time? There just never seems to be enough of it to do the things I need to do, the things I want to do, and the things that make life rich and full… or maybe there is…

At Haka Fitness, we just recently launched our Women’s Series. In the first workshop, we discussed in depth the role of stress in the decline of our health.</strong> We looked at the far-reaching effects of elevated cortisol (the stress hormone) on mental acuity, energy, hormonal imbalances, youthfulness, energy, and weight. We discussed all the types of stress that add up and how the body deals with all stress as if a Sabre Toothed Tiger is ready to eat us for dinner. The workshop started some real conversations and since then, the discussions in the gym about stress have been interesting. But no matter the angle, they always come back to the same common themes: NO TIME, TOO MUCH TO DO, and A LACK OF REAL CONNECTION WITH FRIENDS/FAMILY. I know I’ve felt so time crunched, myself, with our growing business and a 4 ½ month old baby. If I’m honest, some days I feel like I’m just barely holding on to a thread of a memory of my friends…. And the threat of disconnect between Mark and I is always there, creeping around, looking for a way to wedge himself between us. Fitting in workouts takes more commitment than ever, and preparing healthy meals requires full dedication. Where has all my time gone and why am I ALWAYS feeling so behind?

The answer, or at least part of it, came like a dagger to my heart just this week.

The baby wanted to be fed. So, like usual, I grabbed my phone and nestled into the glider. I kissed his little head, started nursing, and turned on my phone to scroll through Facebook. The light from my phone lit up his little face and he promptly let go. He turned his head to stare at the phone. I turned it off. He latched back on. I turned it on. He turned and stared. And then it clicked, the phone was distracting him from nursing, just like it was distracting me from the business of appreciating life. He was more interested in what was on the phone screen than he was in nursing. And I was more interested in Facebook than I was in using that time to make a REAL CONNECTION with my son. Ouch. I don’t even consider myself a big social media person. I keep my phone on silent. My husband and I don’t carry our phones into restaurants or movies. On Saturdays, I leave it on the windowsill while I go about the business of cleaning house. Yet, there I was wasting the most precious time, missing out on a chance for REAL CONNECTION when more than ever I’ve been feeling disconnected and deprived.

I began to wonder just how much time I waste each day on stupid stuff that doesn’t contribute any quality to my life whatsoever, stuff that actually chews up my precious time and spits it in my face. I can tell you, it wasn’t pretty. And when I started looking around, the picture got even uglier- Moms scrolling Facebook at the park instead of playing with their kids, people on their phones in a restaurant instead of talking to the person across from them, athletes in our gym that sneak over to their phones between sets. I even saw a girl taking a selfie in the bathroom when I was out to dinner. Really? Everyone likes to talk about how “connected” we’ve become but I’d argue the other way. I’d prefer to exclaim at how disconnected we’ve become. I can’t nurse my freaking baby without something to amuse me? I’m not amused by the perfect wisps of his hair? By the way he has dimples instead of knuckles? I really turned around to get my phone before going into the grocery store? I can’t buy my groceries in peace? How important I’ve become!

Now, I’m not naïve enough to think we can ever go back. I realize that there’s good with the bad. And I can’t speak for you, but for myself, I imagine I can create some better boundaries. Even if I can’t find more time, I bet I can be more plugged in to the time I do have. I like to think I can enjoy a night out with my friends and not need pictures to prove it happened. I’m gonna go out on a limb and declare that life will continue if I am a little slower to respond to text messages. I’m also pretttttty confident that getting “back to the dinner table” will help my Husband and I take a breath and nourish our relationship right along with our bodies. I might not ever be able to catch up. And as a matter of fact, I am pretty sure I never will. But, I think I’d feel a lot better about being behind if every minute I was behind was a minute well-spent.

I tell you, that little baby boy of mine…. A genius already ;-)