by Aron Daniels

The conversation always starts the same, “What have you been up to?” Then comes the list. We all have one. The kids, the projects, the family schedule. We wear our busy-schedules like badges of honor. I hate to hear it slip from my mouth, “we’ve been so busy,” and yet it does. I don’t know about you, but I rarely leave those conversations feel like I’ve made a meaningful connection… and it’s not their fault. I wish I had a better answer. My life right now really is a juggling act between an extremely full work schedule, kids who demand a lot of energy and attention, and trying to grab a date with my wife every so often. I truly am busy.

That being said, we only get one life and I really want to fit things into it that are enjoyable day-to-day. The things that I would love to fit into my schedule more (other than sleep) is photography, running, reading non-business books, going to the movies, and low-key hangouts with friends over board games and good food. Now, didn’t that list feel like a huge breath of fresh air compared to my project list and my deadline dates?

We need to be putting some more life into our life. Sure, there are times when we legitimately have to handle business and there are seasons that are too full, but we can’t make that the template for our whole life. Demand of your schedule moments for yourself. I made a decision to schedule regular lunches with people, and only have conversations not related to business. I have taken time to get away from some of my entrepreneurial books and have read several fictional stories, a couple of which were graphic novels. I have taken my son out on photo-walks around our property just so I could pick up my camera for fun. I’ve even gotten on the treadmill a couple of times lately and am about to make space for fitness to come back into my life again. A couple of weeks ago I drove to Raleigh one night to meet a friend for drinks and a horror movie. I am planning to hit up a board game night soon over at Blue Ox Games.

Making time for yourself does not have to be a giant trip overseas. It’s doesn’t have to be large-scale. Ask yourself what hobbies you would love to take up if you weren’t so busy all the time. Then schedule those hobbies. It’s the only way those things come back into your life. You will not accidentally enjoy time for yourself. Read every night before bed, go have a social lunch every Thursday, go buy that yarn and make that hat while your kids are doing homework. Whatever that thing is, it’s on you. Decide that you deserve to enjoy the little things and then include them.

If you make time for yourself watch the quality of the relationships around you improve. When you’re talking to your friends you can tell them about that book, or your running goals. You can show them your new photos you are going to get printed for the wall, you can include them on your board game nights, and all of a sudden you will find them lighting up, being encouraged in their own hobbies. That is where our lives get richer. It’s not selfish to include yourself in your life. Make that time for the things you enjoy. Your schedule will always fill in the gaps with more stuff to be busy with. Decide to be busy with the business of self-care. Your heart will thank you.

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