Reclaiming Time

Yesterday I finally realized in a meaningful way that the free time I have is precious and I am spending a good portion of it doing something with minimal productive value.
So today, I officially started on a break from Facebook.

I added this as a status line – my first in maybe years – and have decided not to log in for the forseeable future. (Oh whoops, I just thought of one big problem with this commitment: I administer a facebook page for my office at work. Well, our work/study student can do a lot of this, and there may be a way to view/review it without logging on, and if I do I will just work on that page, not anything else. Commitment holds).

This will be hard. Almost immediately after having baby I started checking Facebook much, much more often. Many times a day, in fact, whereas before it would be days or weeks between logins. Checking facebook is the sort of informational/fun/need to do something for myself something that I can do while holding a baby, nursing a baby, in between following baby around, etc. It’s become a habit and a way I communicate with a number of people. It’s also interesting, fun and informative. If only my friends didn’t post such great articles, links and status updates!

However, I’m sticking with this. There are a lot of other things that I really want and need to get to that are a much higher priority than funny videos. First, writing. I’m only slowly making my way through the book “Write your journal article in 12 weeks.” I need to spend at least 15 minutes a day writing, and checking Facebook takes much more than that every day. Second, I’m going to be teaching an online course starting in April (sorry mom … it’s something I just kind of need to do. I realized that it’s how I can live my dream of being a college professor even though I will probably never again be a prof in a real-time institution. Plus, well, students denied an education because of their religion : glad to help out!). I need to prepare for this, starting in the super basic way of reading the emails they’ve sent me, through checking to see what I have online, revising a syllabus, reading, prepping lesson materials … on and on. Third, there are a lot of topics I want or need to read up on. Child development is a big basic one. General learning about health, diet and nutrition is another. Vaccinations, yet another. Plus, I want to get back into Russian, learn French properly, and move on to other languages. Spanish is probably top of the list next, though Finnish would be good to add since I want to move there!

This long and yet still incomplete list is simply to say that there are many, many, many, many, many other things I might choose to do with my time that do not involve Facebook. A cold-turkey break is the only way I can do this, so here I go. I’m excited to see what comes out of freed-up time!

Using time well also requires me to enjoy what I’m doing. Sometimes with Fbook it’s not enjoyment so much as addiction. This evening was another example. Husband picked up baby after work again (he’s trying to do this every Thursday to give me some time to myself). I had FREE TIME! So I … worked a bit late, until 5:15 (kind of had to with a phone call from my supervisor and important messages to wrap up). then RUSHED to VV to look for some more essential clothing items. Raced through the racks. Eventually bought: 1 pair work pants (Tristan and Iseult – their pants really fit me so well!! They actually have waists that don’t gap, bums that fit well, the right length); 1 leopard print tank top (I blame my former twin for this, though it’s not actually what she suggested – the first time I’ve EVER bought an animal print. Literally); 1 more night shirt (I now can give away the other non-working one – too gappy – and have 3 good ones); plus 3 little baggies/pouches for my purse. One is a Le Sportsac, a brand I LOVE but did not own until today. Their bags are water resistant, super sturdy, with great zippers, usefully sized compartments, and fun fabrics. I want more!

Speaking of clothes, I’ve been thinking about the question of a uniform. A few blog posts I’ve read talked about figuring out what your uniform is – what go-to combinations or types of clothes do you wear over and over – and accepting what it is and doing it well. For pajamas, my winter uniform is stretchy (95% cotton, 5% lycra) V-neck long-sleeved jersey knit shirts with athletic pants (yoga pants, stretch pants, etc.) also in the same cotton/lycra fabric. SUPER comfy, warm, cozy, easy.

For work, my uniform is semi-dressy pants (or, let’s face it, nice-ish jeans or cords) with one of: a V-neck sweater; short sleeved shirt or sleeveless with cardigan over top; basic shoes or boots (low heel); earrings; and a scarf. Figuring this out, I can let go of the need to acquire a winter skirt because honestly, in winter I’m just too cold to wear a skirt. Though blouses are gorgeous and stylish, I find them cold and I sweat through the armpits, so I just don’t buy or wear them anymore. I can choose to invest in some nice interchangeable tank tops and cardigans, some good fabric V-neck sweaters (a fine cotton, or merino wool perhaps), not too heavy and well-fitting, great pants, and a pair or two more of awesome shoes or boots. Consider fabrics and colours and only buy ones that work together. Stop buying RANDOM items at VV because I like one single detail about them – the lable, the colour, they seem to fit but then don’t at home.

And continuing this bizarrely long rant – I think I still have extra energy both from being too tired and from doing yoga yesterday, and probably also from running around waaay too quickly after work – I am sooo eager to continue the purge of our possessions. I’ve just (as of today) finished reading the full blog archives of 100things100 Great funny honest account of how a woman purged 100 things per day from her home for 100 days. Yes: 10,000 items gone. When I look around I don’t immediately see much clutter but I also don’t see the clear surfaces and empty floors she had by the end in her home. I want less. The shopping is just ot make sure that the less includes the right, useful things. And the clearing we’ve done so far has shown the gaps.

Okay, enough! I’m done. Thanks for listening. , facebook

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