One of the most difficult things about being an adult is figuring out time. Time to do the laundry, time to cook, time to work, time to clean, time to teach, time for us, time for me, time for them, time for you...where do all the puzzle pieces fit the best? How much white space is necessary for the layout of our lives to be full enough so as not to be boring, yet not so full as to be cluttered? Where do work and play, and scheduled and unscheduled, find their place?
I've started reading a book called "The Best Yes", and though I'm not sure about the writing style, I appreciate the concept: Say no to some good things so that you can say yes to the best things. Plan time in the 168 hours of your week to do that one thing the voice whispering inside of you is begging you to do. Know your limitations. Know your joys. Know your family. Know yourself.
My small no? I turned down a student tonight. Could I have found 30 minutes in my week to teach her? I think so. Would I have enjoyed her as a student? Probably. Would the extra income always be nice? Of course. And so I agonized. I prayed, I thought, I pondered what to say. I remembered the small number of students on an upcoming recital list, and I remembered the wonderful feeling of having time to sit on my couch and read uninterrupted while drinking a cup of tea. I remembered my budget and I remembered how I like to spend time with my husband instead of having to clean the house when he's not working. I remembered how much energy it takes to learn to know new people and remembered all of the familiar people who I rarely see anymore.
Will I use my extra 30 minutes each week to become a writer like the author of the book did? No, I don't think so. I might use it to cross a few more things off my to-do list, though. I might use it to crochet a baby blanket for or write a letter to a friend. I might just take a nap so that the responsibilities I already have really get the best part of me. And I might also really need to go start supper now.