Time is … (3)

This is the last part of my little story about time.  Read first the 1st part, then the 2nd part 🙂 Indeed a little story towards discovering or rather uncovering “where have all the flowers gone to?” . 

Continuing on…

Now back to myself again. During the process of attempting to uncover my own priorities,  I finally realized that my priorities changed when I decided to get married.  Having children and a family of my own, slowly but steadily, made me become more significant. No doubt, my priority now is being with my family, my children.

I may spend five minutes longer bathing my baby simply because I sing to him several songs when he’s trying to figure out how the transparent liquid called water does its magic to his body.  I may spend two minutes longer rubbing the euky oil on strategic points of his body so that he won’t catch cold easily. I may spend three minutes longer making sure he’s really dry after bath, cleaning his ears and nose as well.  I may spend a minute longer to make sure his diaper is nicely put on so that he won’t have marks on his cuddly little thigh.  I may spend five minutes longer to let him know his ‘Connie cow’ produces different sound from his ‘Moo-Moo cow.’

I may spend more than ten minutes listening to my eight year old babbling about his drawing of a huge shopping mall which he plans to have when he grows up and all those shops and facilities available in it.  I may spend another fifteen minutes listening to him giving an overview of his going-to-be an astronaut journey to space, the space station to be set-up, the special kind of space craft, extra special space suit and all other details regarding the planets, the universe, even the UFO’s.

The question here is, where do I get all the extra minutes to do all these?

Two minutes here plus three minutes there, plus another five minutes here, and fifteen minutes there, altogether will become several numbers of hours a day.  That’s excluding the time spent waking up several times at night breast feeding and making sure that the little one is sleeping happily and comfortably, plus those never ending daily house chores and what not.

Do I get more than twenty four hours a day? How I wish I do but too bad it will never happen.  The extra time to perform all these activities come from the opportunity cost.  Opportunity cost?  A-ha, that’s right. Life is about balance after all.

In accounting and economics, we know that any decisions that involves a choice between two or more options has an opportunity cost.  In a simpler term, if you spend more here, you must spend less somewhere.  Opportunity cost is useful when we want to evaluate the cost and benefits of choices.  For instance, if I decided it’s worthwhile to spend half an hour reading to my children, I have to spend half an hour less browsing my favorite magazine.  If the choices are simpler, surely they won’t be a problem.

But what if the choice between two options is not really that easy to decide?  Which one to keep, and which one to let go?  For example, quitting my good, stable, rewarding, professional career or send my beloved baby to the nearby child care centre and let other people to look after him, at least 8 hours a day, five days a week? My priorities were clear, and I know my opportunity cost is definitely costly.

Does it make me a happy person? 

Post your comments or questions, I would indeed be happy to share the truth….

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Time is … (2)

If you have been following me on this topic, read on… this is the continuation of my  previous entry about Time 🙂

So, where have all the flowers gone to?

I think it’s like this:  the older we are, the wiser we become, the better we are in making decisions in life, and the more skillful we are in handling things.  However, this doesn’t seem to be happening to me.  Instead, I feel like I’m doing the reverse. Instead of getting better, I’m becoming lousier now that I have a family and children to care for. This often leaves me in deep thoughts.  Is this a symptom that most people, women especially, suffer when they start having families of their own?  Or is it just me who feel this way?  Most of the time nowadays, I just feel like I was beaten by time.

A recollection of what one of my professors during my university years said is vivid, ” We can never win against time, the only thing that we can do is to prioritize.”    In order to prioritize, we must know what priority means.  Stephen Covey, author of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People (one of my favorite books from my favorite author) explained priority, “Keep in mind that you are always saying ‘no’ to something.  If it isn’t to the apparent, urgent things in your life, it is probably to the most fundamental, highly important things.  Even when the urgent is good, the good can keep you from your best, keep you from your unique contribution, if you let it.”

And Dwight Eisenhower had said something about “time” too, “The older I get, the more wisdom I gain in the ancient rule of taking first things first.  A process which often reduces the most complex human problem to a manageable proportion.

“A clever man should handle his interests so that each will fall in suitable order of their value.  Our greediness often brings trouble to this order, and makes us pursue so many things at the same time, that while we attend to the trifling too eagerly, we miss the great,” said Francois De La Rochefoucauld, a 17th century French classical writer.

First Things First by Stephen Covey, the definite work on time management explains that most people are driven by the concept of urgency.  But to really effect positive changes in our lives, we need to reorganize the way we spend our time; based on the concept of importance – not urgency.

This post will be continued; something cropped up which requires my urgent attention!

Stay tuned – you may just find the ending of this little story of mine oh-this-is-familiar-i’m-in-the-same- situation 🙂