The Sharp Side on THANKFUL THURSDAY: Timing Your Time

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I love calendars. I love plugging in new events, scheduling reminders, seeing birthdays pop up… I even write down every single story I report on in my work calendar. I can’t leave the station for the day without doing that – I guess I’m afraid I will forget or something and I never want to forget a story.

Hav Life Foundation's Martini Shake-Off

Hav Life Foundation’s Martini Shake-Off

I really love my social calendar. I love events, supporting great causes like the HAV Life Foundation at their Annual Martini Shake-Off or the American Heart Association at the Go Red For Women Kick-Off (pictured), having things to look forward to, lovin’ on my friends, getting dolled up, taking pictures, creating memories, people watching, and just being out and enjoying my (late) 20s.

But… I have to admit – I also really love an iPhone calendar week with none of those gray dots on it, except for puppy class on Mondays and a reminder to set my Fantasy Golf Team on Wednesdays. I get a little sad, but then excited when there isn’t a dot on a Friday, since that’s the only night Zach and I have together for dates… which is rare – not the dates, the open Fridays. This is what happens when you work on Saturdays – you fill up the one weekend night you have! Seriously, I think from Halloween through New Years last year we had something every. single. Friday. It was awesome… and a little exhausting.

Go Red for Women Campaign Kick-Off

Go Red for Women Campaign Kick-Off

That’s maybe the one – yes one, because overall this time of year kind of stinks – thing I like about February and March… there’s not a ton going on. In February, everyone is kind of in hibernation mode between going out for all the holiday parties – no matter if it’s snowing or freezing or both – and in March, we’re just starting to get ready for warmer weather (Hallelujah!) and spring and light jackets and white wine and nights where you’re not sprinting from the restaurant/bar to your car to get away from the cold faster.

It kind of goes back to my post about routine. I love coming home from work, having a solid workout, cooking dinner, and then spending the rest of the night writing or talking to someone on the phone or catching up on a book (gotta read Insurgent before it comes out next week!), or watching TV… or just sitting in silence.

Notice the TV? It's off.

Notice the TV? It’s off.

Lately, that is my favorite thing to do – which I know probably sounds pretty strange, but I don’t care. I’m actually doing it right now . It’s Wednesday night (writing the night before Thankful Thursday, just so you’re not confused!, I can still feel my muscles kinda working from my workout, my tummy (and wine glass) is full, and the only noise I hear is Zuno chewing on his bully stick on my lap. It’s such a nice change of pace… literally. No cliche needed on that one.

This ties into something new Zach and I are doing now. We’re actually eating dinner at the dinner table — GASP! — instead of on the couch like we’ve been guilty of doing for years. We can partly blame Zuno for this, because our little terror of a terrier now knows how to jump onto the couch with no problem. However, it’s also just… nice. I find us talking more instead of being distracted by what’s on TV and that’s no ones fault. I think sometimes we forget to talk to the other person, because there’s this white noise coming from the big colorful square right in front of us. However, it’s amazing what happens when you don’t turn the TV on the second you get home from work. You talk a little more, listen to each other more, reflect a little more (like right now), and you start to de-stress (is that a word?) from the day faster. Now, if only we could do this with our laptops, iPads, and iPhones… but let’s not get too hasty.

I get why family dinners are so important and why my Mom would sometimes make me and my brother wait as late until 9pm so my Dad (who deals with rush hour every morning and every evening) could eat with us. I get why having your spot at the dinner table is significant. I had one growing up and I have one now. I get why it’s special to ask your kids – “What did you learn at school today?” – or your partner – “How was your day, dear?” without all the distractions… even if it’s just for 15 minutes. You even enjoy your food more and understand the signal of your body telling you it’s full. There’s something about thinking about meals past, meals present, and meals future that gets me allllllll teary-eyed. This is why my Dining Room is so special to me… Also, it’s the first – and still the only — furniture we’ve bought together since getting married.

Puppies don't care about TV. They care about comfy corners on couches.

Puppies don’t care about TV. They care about comfy corners on couches.

It all leads to my post-dinner party… feet in slippers, pup sleeping on your lap, wrapped up in a blanket with a little dessert of wine or chocolate chips (usually both). It’s nice to just be at peace for a minute… or two… or 40 before turning on the TV or getting up to wash dishes (yes, I see them lying over there…) or starting to think about the next day, make the next lift, conquer the next challenge, pick out the next task… before trying to find another task, another challenge, another bad thing to stew about. It’s nice to just be. Thank goodness for the invention of the DVR, right? It can help us all just be for a moment. You’re not going to miss anything. And if you do… it’s not really that important, right?

I say this with those who talk to me about Body Rock (new #WorkItWednesday post coming next week!) – just take 12 minutes for you. GUESS WHAT? That time is going to pass by you no matter what. We can’t stop the clock… so we might as well use it. Whether that means doing a workout or sitting on the couch and just relaxing for a minute. Whether that means prepping your meal for the next day or spending two hours watching The Bachelor or Pretty Little Liars (Why do I do this to myself?!) or group texting with your friends so you can fill that calendar up with gray dots and awesome activities. Be balanced. Just be. Use your time well… Use it for you.

– A

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