I’ve been meaning to have a little crisis over turning 40, but I haven’t had time. Which has led me to put a lot of thought into how I spend my days. And I’ve come to the uncomfortable realization that I’ve wasted most of my adult life doing things that didn’t really get me anywhere. Cleaning and gaming and watching TV and obsessing over dumb stuff. That’s pretty much the past 20 years in a nutshell.
I’m not saying this is a new, startling revelation. Or that no one else staring down 2 x 20 candles never felt that way. Just that, as I am realizing this, I’m thinking it’s time to make some changes. For me, huge frickin’ changes. Like this:
- I’m going to work on my dirty-house issues. Having a dirty/cluttered house makes me uneasy. Jumpy. Which makes me most unpleasant to be around. I don’t have time to clean constantly, nor do I want to. And no matter how much I clean, or how much my loving babydaddy cleans, we simply can’t keep this house as clean as I was able to keep our apartment pre-toddler. Keeping the house the way I want it would get in the way of the life I want to lead; I’d pretty much spend every free moment cleaning up after the kiddo, and it still wouldn’t be clean-clean. So I can either hire a housecleaning service or get over it. And I can’t afford a housecleaning service.
- I’m going to stop wasting my time doing nonproductive things. Sure, I enjoy playing video games, but that time would be better spent working towards my goals, playing with my kid, or even sleeping.
- Similarly, I need to get over this feeling that I have to stay completely up to date with social media. There’s too much, and I’m doing too much already, and really, is my life enriched by the content posted there? I’m going to narrow my focus, designate a time to check, and otherwise leave it alone.
- I can’t say I’ll cut down on the amount of TV I watch because I generally only have it on as background noise. But I do think I’ll stop thoughtlessly turning the box on. Instead, I’m going to work on fleshing out my Spotify library and turn it on instead. I’d rather my life be filled with music than television.
- Within reason (I am not what I earn, after all), I’m going to try to foster hobbies that might generate income.
- Rather than doing the same things all the time, I’m going to seek out new experiences. These do not necessarily have to cost money. Something as simple as taking a new route home keeps things interesting.
I’m sure there are other ways I could make better use of my time, but this is a start.