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Kathy Tun

The time is now ...

There is enough time in the day for us to make a change. Right now in this moment we are given a minute of our lives to make another decision. Will we continue to live as before?

Hold onto whatever thought comes next. Maybe these thoughts have come to you before. I know I often wonder if I can take back control of my time. I say this like it has been taken from me, but the truth is we have always been in control of our thoughts. Our perception of time can be the key to changing the way we spend our time.

Within a 24-hour span, most of us are responsible to take care of work, our family, ourselves, and a category I will call “etc.,” We have to schedule appointments, do laundry, and find food to eat. And a portion of our time is spent studying for classes. These are priorities that cannot be sacrificed for the sake of making more time. Overwhelmed and frustrated we are left to exclaim to our friends, “There isn’t enough time.”

We believe there aren’t enough hours in the day because we have high expectations of how much we can accomplish. Think back to the last to-do list you had when you couldn’t completely check off all the tasks. Each unchecked one felt like an added weight of failure. It didn’t matter if you finished at least one minor task. When your hands felt like they were full, you were left to feel weighed down and stressed.  

Sure, not much feels like it has been finished, but that is why a day is as long as it is. Now is a time to refresh and come back ready to build on the progress made from yesterday. Be compassionate with yourself. When stressed out, a common response is to stop all together.

In order to take back control of your time, you must first take charge of your thoughts. That one task you finished today is a tiny confidence boost waiting for you to discover it. Let it be the stepping stone that brings you a little closer to the happiness you want to feel. Your positive attitude will help fuel your motivation.

Keep in mind that you have every right to focus on your progress rather than a number of all your immediate successes because it is the progress you make that will lead you to feeling successful. Writer Annie Dillard once said, “How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives,” which can be a daunting fact if we think there is not enough time to live the way we want to. But if we believe that our life is based on the progress we make, then 24 hours is never a limiting a factor.

Kathy Tun of Spring Valley is a sophomore at Illinois Wesleyan University in Bloomington. She can be reached in care of this newspaper at P.O. Box 340, Princeton, IL 61356.