I am currently reading a book titled What The Most Successful People Do Before Breakfast by Laura Vanderkam. I first picked up the book looking for a little pep talk about getting up earlier in the morning before work and allowing myself to be more prepared and less rushed before my morning commute. What I am receiving however, is a book full of small changes that I can make in my life to get more value out of my time.
One suggestion is to take the weekends as a time to live life rather than a time to recover from the long and busy work week. Sure, recovering is great, but you are missing a small piece of your life which is set aside for living and recharging.
The author breaks the book into sections of the week; before breakfast, on the weekends and at work. In the section entitled, “What the Most Successful People Do on the Weekend: All There Is” She recalls a story idea about “Simplifying Christmas” in which the narrative shares that you don’t have to bake, throw parties and curl ribbon during the holidays. You can simplify this festive time to allow for relaxation. And though she agrees that there is no reason to fill this time with tasks that won’t bring joy or buying expensive gifts that nobody really wants, there is a value to all the holiday hoopla.
“But if you’ve got young kids, it doesn’t take long to realize that there won’t be many Christmas seasons when the little ones will race downstairs in the morning to see what Santa brought. They won’t always be eager to bake with you, spilling flour on the counter in their excitement. Eventually they won’t care if you don’t put up a giant tree or go caroling or make hot chocolate. They’ll allow you to beg off making a snowman because you’re tired. But there are only a few winters – and only a few days each winter when it’s snowy and you all are home together – that you children will ask to make snowmen with you. Someday, perhaps you will be staring at the snow from a too-simple hospital or nursing home, dreaming of the days when making snowmen with your children was an option. This realization leads to a different question than that suggested by all these tips on simplifying the holidays. Namely, what are you saving your energy for? This is all there is. Anything could happen and you are not guaranteed another snowman. So make a fuss. Make a show. Spend your energy now.”
Matt and I are making great progress on the house and are spending most if not all of our weekends to make head-way. I feel like Jack is growing up and I’m only watching it in the photos I look back on during the week while I am trying to stay focused at work.
We need to find at least one activity a weekend which we can spend together, having fun, relaxing and growing together. Even if it’s just a relaxing movie on a Saturday night, or a Friday evening in the park watching Jack act like a baseball prodigy. We will still get the backyard cleaned up and then we will be able to relax in our safe backyard oasis in the evenings – even during the week when a little time spent sitting and just talking is the most beneficial.
“You can make more money, but the mightiest among us is granted no more than 168 hours per week, and it is physically impossible to work for all of them.” Laura Vanderkam, What the Most Successful People Do Before Breakfast