"Reclaiming my time."- Maxine Waters
Listen y'all Auntie Maxine Waters spoke for every woman I know when she shut down Treasury Secretary with her now iconic phrase "Reclaiming my time." The phrase went viral on social media, and just like every other millennial writer/blogger, here I am adding to the frenzy. Why? If I've learned nothing else in college I've learned that time is one of our most precious gifts and wasting it is just a shame.
I've made a resolution to roll with the punches and make the best of my time going forward. This year, and really for the rest of my life, my goal is to be more intentional about how and with whom I spend my time. Here are three practical ways that you can join in me doing the same:
1. Invest in those who invest in you:
The truth of the matter is that there are people who will never understand your worth or the value you bring to their life and because of that they won't invest in you like they should. Don't trip if they don't understand that you are worth investing in. Do you see big companies like Google hounding you to invest in them? No, because they know their brand will attract the right investors.
Stop worrying about those who don't text you back and start being present and interactive with the people in your life who cherish your presence. In the words of one of my favorite pastors Sarah Jakes Roberts, "You're going to have to take time and invest in me and let me tell you, I promise you something, it's a good investment baby. When you invest in me, your life gets better. When you invest in me, you increase." Worth doesn't explain itself. It's a simple three step process: live like you know you're a good investment, attract good investors, and embrace those who are willing to invest.
2. Stop letting the ordinary occupy your space:
Sarah Jakes Roberts snatched my whole life in another of one of her Facebook posts that read "You can't say you want something special and then let the ordinary occupy your space." WOW. Go ahead and reread that because I know it snatched you too. Space here can be defined as a number of things but for me it means my time, energy, and even my physical space. For example, when I first start dating someone I am wary about them spending time in my house. Being the busy body that I am keeps me out of my house a lot so my home is my safe space. It's a special part of my life that not everyone deserves access to. Think of yourself like I think of my bedroom/home. Not everyone deserves access to you.
It's easy to allow ordinary or mediocre things to occupy your time and space when you don't know what God has for you. You see I truly believe that Jesus came so that I could have life and have it more abundantly, so I don't accept mediocrity. That being said, I've instituted what is called "Freak Yes or No" (FYON) in my life. The concept comes from this article. This means that I don't spend time going places I don't want to go or being around people I don't want to be around (if it can be helped) out of obligation to others. I've learned that if it's not a "freak yes" then it's a no from me. The easiest way to reclaim your time? Learn to say no and stop letting the ordinary occupy your space. On a side note: desperation can certainly cloud your ability to practice discernment. Every good (ordinary) thing ain't a God (extraordinary) thing. Don't be so pressed that you settle for ordinary, you deserve extraordinary.
3. Be where your feet are
A little while ago I was on a trip to my family reunion Houston, TX. When I got there I was immediately annoyed and slightly sad because just a few months prior my ex and I had discussed moving there. Here I was, surrounded by family I had not seen in years and I was worried about a circumstance that had changed. Instead of being in the present, I was focused on the past.
Now that graduation is closing in (eeekk), I also felt the need to practice my spiel on my plans after graduation for all of my West Indian relatives who have no shame about asking me when I will get married, where I'll be working, etc. Instead of being in the present, I was focused on the future. It wasn't until I was eating a Torchy's Taco watching the Astros play did I realize that I needed to be in the present. I needed to be enjoying my last bit of summer and my family whose dynamics, marital status, etc. would change before I could see them again.
You can't change the past and you can't predict the future so why ignore the one thing you can control: the present. Even the bible is clear on being in the moment. Matthew 6:34 says "Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own." Be where your feet are. Be present and later on you'll be glad that you were.
"Reclaiming my time" is not just a mood, it's a lifestyle. It's a declaration over your circumstances and a way for you to take back anything that the devil may have stolen from you. Take back your time and energy, and start living your best life.
P.S. follow me on social media if you already haven't. My Twitter account is my personal twitter so you can really get to know me and all of my craziness!