On Making Time For What Really Matters

I’m sitting on the pier today. The water is billowing on all sides and I swear, sometimes I can feel the structure move ever so slowly beneath me. I’m busy this afternoon. I’m always busy. Today’s list consists of the same – writing, projects, emails, social media, planning, brainstorming, writing – and to be honest, walking to the pier took too much time in itself. Maybe I’m being dramatic, but sometimes I feel like I’m forever running out of time.

I was trying to filter through some last few emails before starting on a new piece of writing when I stumbled across this article on Medium by Joshua Earle – an Unsplash photographer, commenting on his decision to let people use his photos for free. I was intrigued, and well, in typical Marisa style, I figured I could carve out a few minutes to read.

I’m glad I did.

The article was beautiful, and even though I knew I had 57083 things to do, I decided to take another minute to give him a personal shout out on Twitter. This act was so small, but to my surprise, he responded. And in that moment, damn, it felt good to have done something meaningful, rather than simply share the article quickly, or even brushing it off altogether because I was ‘too busy.’

The situation (simple as it was) inspired my Thought Catalog piece, “Make Time For Meaningful Things.” (Which you should definitely check out because it’s wayyy better articulated than this.)

But I can’t stop thinking about the fact that sometimes I’m so ‘busy’ being ‘busy,’ I forget what really matters.

In the rush of my daily life, it’s so damn easy to push aside anything that’s not on my to-do list. I have articles to write, social media feeds to schedule, emails to respond to, pieces to edit, manuscript ideas to plan. I simply don’t have time for anything else…right? Right?

Sometimes I get so caught up in the rush, half my day is over before I even take a breath. I spend so much time online and ‘talking’ to people, but I can go hours without an in-person conversation. I write about feelings, and yet, I don’t express mine aloud until I call my boyfriend before I go to bed. I preach living a good life, but sometimes I have too much going on to check in with the ones I love.

And that’s silly.

Because honestly, what’s the point of having all these things to do but never feeling like I’m ‘done’? I’m moving from the moment I open my eyes to the moment they close, but I’m not quite fulfilled.

Not until I make time for those meaningful things.

So, I don’t know if you’re in the same boat – doing, rushing, working, being ‘busy.’ But I constantly have to remind myself that it’s not accomplishing everything, crossing all the items off my to-do list, or being the best that makes a good life – it’s about the relationships, the conversations, the little moments. And I don’t want to take those for granted anymore.