Tonight I am returning home after a week away working in Vancouver. It has been a very busy week working on a challenging project. I am happy to say that it has been successfully completed. Each day was a hit the ground running and dodge the bullets sort of day and each evening was a concerted effort to see as many friends and family as possible.

Usually when I am away for work I spend the evening alone in a hotel room and get all caught up on email and Facebook and studying and work, but this does not happen when I return to my hometown to work.  It is an exercise in tightly scheduled events. I am never able to see as many people as I wish and I know that the people I am not able to visit are not very happy that I didn’t make the time. It is never an issue of not making the time; it is an issue of not being able to create time. What would it be like to be able to stretch time? To actually be able to manufacture additional hours in our days? This thought is attractive to me when I have a deadline and am attempting to juggle the multiple demands that are a part of my everyday life: children, marriage, work, school, tri  training, housework (okay, I admit it. I do not even attempt to juggle that last one at all). If I had 2-3 more hours in everyday I could always fit in a work out and a study session, but then where would it stop? When would I have done enough of the things on my to-do list to be able to quit adding hours? I used to just sacrifice sleep, but I simply can not do that anymore;  I don’t want to feel exhausted all the time.

Martin Amis in his novel, Money, writes “Sometimes I feel that life is passing me by, not slowing either, but with ropes of steam and spark-spattered wheels and a hoarse roar of power or terror. It’s passing, yet I’m the one who’s doing all the moving” Ever feel like this? I spent most of last year feeling EXACTLY like this and have committed that 2012 won’t be a repeat. So now I have to tame the time dragon. I am going to take a novel approach: instead of frantically trying to find more hours in the day to fit it all in and identifying every efficiency that I can to squeeze as much productivity out of every single second; I am going to find things that I can take out of my life.

I am going to ask myself two questions: will this make me happy? what will happen if I don’t do this? Hopefully this will help me identify what will ADD to my life and what will just keep me moving without any benefit. I am not sure yet what these things are–I have to do a lot of weighing of pros and cons. There are lots of things that I am not thrilled to be doing, yet the outcome would be really negative if I didn’t do them–like paying the hydro bill.  Some things are easy to decide to do: yoga and tri training make me very happy and if I didn’t do them the outcome on my physical and mental health would be disastrous. There are some thing that I will have to choose to let go–and I am pretty sure ironing is going to be one of them!

What are you willing to let go to allow yourself a more manageable flow to your life?