I had to get a part-time job to help pay the bills, but the only job I could find is on night shift. I can’t even begin to tell you how difficult it was to work four nights a week and go to college full-time, all while running a household and raising a six-year-old.
Unfortunately, while I struggled to maintain good grades, find time to spend with my daughter and get to work on time, I had to put my passions on hold. I love to write and I love to take pictures, but when you’re juggling so many responsibilities you have to prioritize. And let me tell you, wanting to stay up and write, blog, research or read but knowing I needed to sleep was so hard. You do what you have to do.
One thing I did learn is that life is always going to be busy, maybe not all the time, but things will come up. It might be a part-time job to help pay the bills, it may be training or school to enhance your knowledge, or having to care for a sick child or parent, but you still need to take time for yourself and for your passions whether it’s writing, painting, gardening, running or even rock climbing. Passions are a huge part of what makes our lives enjoyable.
Unfortunately, sometimes we have to put our passions on the back-burner while we tend to other things. It’s just part of life. But it’s important to know, that even though you may be too busy right now you can always make time later, when life is less hectic. I know that while I finished my last two weeks of school and was scheduled to work 32 hours a week, I was pulling my hair out trying to find the time to blog. I like to post five times a week but I was too tired and worn out. Then I said to myself, “It’s okay to post less right now; you can get back to it after this term at school is done.” Giving myself permission to slow down felt good, like a huge weight had been lifted and my stress lessened.
Other times you just have to make time for your passions. They add so much value and joy. Did you know that when you’re engaged in an activity you love to do, you enter a state of mind known as flow? Flow is when you’re so immersed in an activity that time seems to fall away and nothing else matters but the task at hand, like meditation. It’s actually really good for your mental health and well-being. So yes, making time for your passions is important. It’s not the end of the world if you say no to something to make time for yourself. That might mean you have to cancel having lunch with your friends, or get a babysitter. Maybe you can leave the dirty dishes for a night, or do laundry later. Whatever it is that’s eating up your time, reschedule, cancel, do it later and make time to do what it is you really love.
Having a support system, friends and family who help out, is really good, too. Tell them about your passions, talk about how much you love to draw or play tennis, let them know you need to do it now and then to increase your happiness and ask for help. Take turns babysitting your friends kids, or even find a way to involve other people in your passions. I gave my daughter a small point-and-shoot camera last year so that she can take her own pictures when I want to go out and practice photography. It’s also a great way to connect with her on a shared interest.