Okay, y’all, I admit it: I hate my calendar. Just thinking about it makes me cringe, and some days I can hardly muster the energy to even look at it. I spend weekdays in a cortisol-fueled state of urgency, hour after hour, not slowing down till I come home and our golden retriever greets me at the door. Even then, I blow past her and immediately start prepping dinner.
Weekends are considerably better, but the time monster still lurks in the background. A voice in my head taunts me, “These are your only two days to yourself. Are you sure you can spend this hour reading, and not doing something productive?” It doesn’t matter that reading provides a variety of benefits. My guilt around time isn’t particularly rational. Because reading is enjoyable and involves lying on the couch, I have a hard time allowing myself to do it.
But yesterday, it happened! About four o’clock, after half-finishing a few projects on the should list, I finally coaxed myself out of auto mode. I surrounded myself with a magazine, my Kindle, and a stack of books. Sure, I had time for just one, but having the others nearby made me feel better. I grabbed a pillow off the bed, put Pandora on a cello station, covered myself in a fuzzy blanket, and read.
And here’s the thing. The hour I spent on that couch energized me more than all the others that day, combined. I’d awoken yesterday morning so drained I didn’t even want to get up. So the fact that my down time actually gave me energy–enough that I was inspired with new ideas–counts as a victory.
So, what about you? If you had a time-free hour this week, how would you spend it? And how would you want to feel when you were done? I wrote this post for one reason: To give you a plea to find that hour this week. I’m imploring you to ditch time completely. Take off that i-Watch, put your phone out of reach, and please, get lost in the moment. I don’t care whether you read or take a walk or indulge yourself in the adult coloring book craze. Just make it happen, okay?