When we first got Keopi, most of our friends and family had a similar response: "how in the world will you have time for a dog?" Neither of us had ever been a pet owner before (apparently Jan had a fish, I don't count that), and between working full time jobs and serving with Vibrant and CCCC, life kept us pretty busy.
I wish I had a smooth answer, but to be honest, we hadn't really spend too much time thinking about it. Instead, when Keopi jumped into our arms and became part of our lives, we simply decided we'd make time.
And so, with no game plan, Keopi became a new constant in our lives...and man, did he take up a lot of time. Perhaps it's because we have no idea what we're doing, but we had to keep an eye on him at all times, especially at the beginning. Even when he wasn't doing anything, we would stay wired and high-strung because who knew what he would take a dump on next? Logic dictates that what goes in is what comes out, but I swear Keopi defies physics, the way the lil dude poops.
But as we celebrate our one year mark with him, I noticed some strange things about our time:
- we sleep more than we did before we got him.
- we cook more at home than before we got him (ok fine, Jan cooks more at home).
- as a deacon and ministry coordinator, we arguably spend even more time at church
- we still spend time with different friends at least once a week.
- Jan started volunteering at her work, and I created a new program at mine.
- I picked up a game called Overwatch, and probably play 5 hours a week.
- we were able to continue to serve in Panama last Christmas
- we still see our parents *almost* every week (we're working on it!).
In fact, I could make a strong case that we do more with Keopi around than before we had him. So how did we do it? As I analyzed my time, I realized some of my time shifts:
- I stopped watching live Canucks games.
- I stopped being up to date with The Flash, Arrow, SHIELD, New Girl, Suits, Gotham, Fresh off the Boat, Quantico, Legends of Tomorrow (and maybe some more, but I can't remember)
- I stopped caring about tech toys. I stopped staying current with blogs like The Verge, Engadget, and Gizmodo.
- I barely watched the Olympics last summer.
- This is my first blog post this year, and it's June.
This whole post wasn't meant to be a humblebrag of how awesome my time management is, trust me, I promise you - I still waste a ton of time. But rather, what I found out is that as things took priority (in this case, one very cute thing), other things quickly and naturally just faded. I don't miss the tv shows I no longer keep up with or miss agonizing over yet another Canucks loss. So if you struggle with a perceived lack of time like I do, perhaps take 5 minutes and do this exercise:
1) Figure out what are the most important things to you. Is it Jesus? Family? Friends? Job? Your bobsledding career? Write them down.
2) Be extremely honest with yourself. Are those really the most important things to you? This is your chance to change your answers.
3) Find a way to lock in time slots for those really important things. Don't tell yourself you can do it without help or structure, because if you did, you wouldn't have read this far. If it's health, sign up for a really expensive spin class that you can't get out of. If it's studying, force yourself to pay for tutoring. If it's work, commit to assigned hours with real consequences if you don't show up. Don't give yourself a reason to back out.
4) Tell your friends and family about it. Tell them you will not get mad as they keep you accountable.
At the end of the day, I'm not really that interested in time optimization. I just hope that we can all look back a year from now, and be satisfied with the way we've spent our time.