"I read.... I do graphic design.... but I really don't have that much time."
"I have two, technically three internships. And I write for an online magazine. But the third internship is remote and super part-time, so it's really not that bad."
"Hm. You may want to take a look at your priorities. What's most important? If there's something you can cut, you should do it."
Dang shoot. I'd known him for 47 minutes, and he was already calling me out. Who did he think he was, telling me that I was too busy? I have my summer carefully planned out, no overlaps, but time completely filled. Every weekday. Sometimes 8 am-10 pm. Some Saturdays? Totally gone. Sleeping in? A thing of the past. My summer at home, the one where I planned to see my sister and brother and friends and nieces and nephews so much? Full already.
And I'm only 3 weeks in.
In some ways, I like it this way. I feel like I'm getting so much done. For example, each Wednesday, I work one internship from 8:30-12:30, the second internship from 1-4:30, run home for dinner, go to Praise and Worship at 6:30, Bible study at 8, and holy hour at 9. I'm home by 10:45 and may have time to put a load of laundry in the washer and pick up my clutter from the previous Saturday before falling into bed at midnight.
No time for exercise, I tell myself. No time for reading. No FoodNetwork or HGTV. Sitting around is a thing of the past. I'm grown-up now. I have things to do.
But is my business getting in the way of what's really important? Am I inadvertently keeping myself from other activities by expecting too much of myself?
I started to realize this gradually. First, my mom suggested that I take an afternoon off. One day a week. Finish work at 12:30 and come home. Ha, no. "I only have a day and an evening at the Church, I should give them another afternoon as well." But now, I've only worked there for 3 1/2 days, and I'm in love with it already. I haven't spent much time with the kids, but I love them. So I'm glad I made that decision to be there an extra afternoon, and its not out of a feeling of obligation anymore. It's because I genuinely want to be there.
The next step in my realization was this past Wednesday, when I was at Bible study and we went around the table saying what we were doing this summer. shoot, I sound like the worst overachiever ever, I thought. Two internships? Who does that? Me. But why?
I was then planning a trip to go visit Grace for a couple days. The thought of asking for time off was paralyzing. It took me 2 days to fill out the online form, asking for 2 1/2 days off. My hands hesitated as I typed an email, telling the youth minister I couldn't chaperone the hike. Ah. I'm slacking. I'm shirking my responsibilities. I'm letting people down. I expect more of myself than I do of other people.
Finally, last weekend, I was at a meeting and he dropped that question. "What do you do for fun?" It was asked out of curiosity, but it led to so much more. Why do I see a need to fill every moment? Is it because I'm running from something, or towards something, or just running for the sake of running? Am I trying to prove something to myself? Or to others?
Am I motivated by Love?
Even though one of my jobs is in a secular company, I should still have love behind what I do. If I don't genuinely want to serve those I work with, my work means nothing. If I don't seek to be Christ to each and every person I encounter, even the impolite people on the phone, I've failed before I even began.
So I don't know that this is rooted in my schedule at all, but rather in the purpose behind it. I am realizing that my reason shouldn't be because of obligation, but because of Love.