When I was thinking about how I could improve in my life (there are many ways), the thought came to me, which it has many times lately, that I need to spend less time on the computer or lazying around. It has become even more apparent that I spend too much time in front of the screen when I find Will crying for attention or rolling around on the ground at my feet in boredom. This is embarassing to admit, but I now realize how crucial it is for me to make a change. I make excuses that being at my parents' house has made it harder to get out & do the fun things I would normally do with Will, or that I can't work on beneficial projects: organizing my house, working on quilts, DIY decorating projects . . . since I'm not in my element while away from my home.
While making these excuses, however, I remember President Thomas S. Monson relating the following story of Arthur Gordon:
“"When I was around thirteen and my brother ten, Father had promised to take us to the circus. But at lunchtime there was a phone call; some urgent business required his attention downtown. We braced ourselves for disappointment. Then we heard him say [into the phone], ‘No, I won’t be down. It’ll have to wait.’
“When he came back to the table, Mother smiled. ‘The circus keeps coming back, you know,’ [she said.]
“‘I know,’ said Father. ‘But childhood doesn’t.’”
President Monson went on to say:
"If you have children who are grown and gone, in all likelihood you have occasionally felt pangs of loss and the recognition that you didn’t appreciate that time of life as much as you should have."
I have been spending my time on trivial things while life & Will's childhood is passing by. I don't mean to say that spending time on trivial things is always bad - it is necessary to have some down time. But when it gets to the point where Will is crying & rolling on the ground, rather than playing & entertaining himself, I have crossed from "down time" to idleness. This is unhealthy both for me & my child, & it is teaching him very poor habits.
I started thinking about the fact that we associate "spending" not only with money, but with time (lightbulb)! I have always been a stickler for budgeting my money. I spend it very carefully & know where all of it goes, down to the very last penny. Why then, do I not spend my time in the same way? Why do I balance my budget, but not my time? Just like money is precious & necessary for survival, time is even more so! I budget my money into several categories: home, bills, food, entertainment, personal, safety net, projects, birthdays/holidays, tithing . . . . If I can take the time & energy to moniter how I spend my money, then I should be even more diligent in monitering how I spend my time. I need to make room for: the spiritual, physical, homemaking, motherhood, developing talents, my husband, friendships, planning ahead, obtaining knowledge, service, down time. If I just make the effort to schedule this into my day (I function best when I work with a schedule), I know my life will be more fruitful. I will be better in all aspects of my life & will achieve balance & satisfaction. By "budgeting" my time, there will be less time for squandering & more time for living fully.