You know when you’re a politics nerd and you watch Senate hearings where senators bring in Mark Zuckerberg or a pharmaceutical executive or a big oil executive and they ask them why they are destroying Earth? Each Senator is allowed the same amount of time to ask questions of the respondent, usually just a couple of minutes so they don’t want any of their precious time taken up with a bunch of nonsense. My favorite part of these hearings is when the Senator asks a pointed question, the executive hems and hahs and so the Senator cuts them off declaring, “I reclaim my time.”
Usually the questionee tries talking over them but the Senator repeats until they zip it, “I reclaim my time. I reclaim my time.” And then guess what? They reclaim their time. They get their time back to continue with their line of questioning or to read their statement or just to sit there in silence if they really wanted to.
Recently, because I opened my own shop and so I have had much less time on my hands than before, that phrase pops into my head a lot. Reclaim my time.
This week I had to get ready for the first crafts show I’ve done since Covid. I totally didn’t account for how long it would take to pack up dozens of every single card and product I’ve ever made, organize everything, box it and then Tetra it all into the back of my truck. I should have started the task 2 weeks earlier but I procrastinated and, needless to say, my Thanksgiving consisted of me sitting endlessly, packing up all my product.
Anyway, Friday, Saturday and Sunday was taken up with the crafts show hustle and I found myself repeating that phrase in my head.
When I was doddling over a relaxing hot cup of tea instead of racing out to the show early to double check everything, I whispered to myself, “Reclaim your time Sunde. Reclaim your time.”
When I got up a half hour early the next day to just to read a couple of pages of a good book and fiddle around on my phone I said it louder, “Reclaiming my time!” Just like Senator Klobuchar would have done during a hearing.
When I went behind my craft show curtain to just take a few deep breaths and drink some water, I didn’t even need to declare it anymore. I just was like, “I’m reclaiming my time, of course.”
I love saying and acting on this now. To me this means, when I’m feeling very busy, rushed or overwhelmed, it’s a reminder and also permission to take some micro breaks, to reclaim my time. Maybe that means getting up 15 minutes early to just sit quietly and space out. Or finish listening to my podcast for five minutes more in my truck. Two holiday seasons ago, during the peak of holiday show season, it meant watching the Hallmark Channel while endlessly cutting snowflakes for my tree. Maybe it means putting your work down for ten minutes and taking a quick walk around the block, reading a magazine article, looking at cute dogs on Instagram. It’s amazing how helpful it is to take these mircro breaks, even if they are only 1 or 2 minutes long.
Try it this holiday season when you’re feeling tired or overwhelmed and if someone asks you what you’re doing, just answer them with all the confidence of a senior Minnesota senator, “I’m reclaiming my time!”