Making time (instead of excuses)

Categories: Making Time, The Juggle, Uncategorized, Working? Living?


My youngest kids saw the sword near the Christmas tree and looked at it in awe. Finally, my 3-year-old piped up: “Mama? Did you used to be a pirate?”

No, but for about nine years I was a fencer, and I’ve always missed the sport. Every couple of years I’d look up the number for the local fencing club, but I never got around to calling. It seemed impossible to carve out that time for myself. It seemed irresponsible to spend money on the membership fee. How could I go off, at bedtime no less, and do something each week that didn’t involve or benefit the rest of the family? It seemed so… selfish.

My husband didn’t see it that way, but I am a bit… how do you say… um… stubborn. Like a mule. While I clung to my excuses, he dug up my old foil and put it near the tree; while the kids tore through wrapping paper and ribbons, he told me that practice started up right after New Year, and he had signed me up already.

Last week, for the first time in 15 years, I fenced again. And it felt wonderful.

Instead of me time, I’ve been making excuses. My excuse for not exercising has always been some variation of “I have no time.” Before I had kids, I had no time because I was working 60 to 70 hours a week. Then we got married and I had no time because I had three new, beautiful stepkids with whom I wanted to spend every second possible. Then we moved out to the quasi-country, and I had no time because my commute was so long. Then we had more kids and I had no time because the little local club met on Wednesdays after dinner, and my husband worked nights, and if I wasn’t there who would do bedtime?

The excuses were wearing thin. The big kids don’t need me at night anymore, and my husband works days now, so he was home to manage the littles. The club meets practically within walking distance of our house. And still, I wouldn’t sign myself up.

So he did.

Sweaty and sore after an hour on the strip, I realized that if he hadn’t, I’d still be making up reasons why I have no time, instead of, you know, just making time.

Sometimes, “me” time isn’t taken, it’s given. And the best thing you can do is use it and be grateful.

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2 comments so far...

  • What a wonderful gift from your husband!

    I had a similar experience with dance classes. I took dance class the whole time I was growing up but I then didn’t have time for it because of graduate school, then commuting, then commuting and kids. 12 years past…All the stars were in alignment and I started taking a tap class again last year. A small thing, only one hour a week, but so worth it and, in a way, a big thing because it is all mine. and although my husband didn’t “make me” do it, he is so supportive of it.

    Shannon W.  |  January 11th, 2010 at 11:19 am

  • wow, Lylah, you are off to a very good and positive year!

    vera babayeva  |  January 11th, 2010 at 11:34 pm