Saturday, July 16, 2011


If you have ever had the pleasure of living with me, or if I've let you into my circle of trust, you might know something about me and timers.  This is my beloved Pampered Chef timer.

I have a healthy relationship with my timer...or, I might use it a little too often...some people think I use it excessively...

I'm obsessed with my timer.

I can't pinpoint exactly when this obsession began.  I think it started somewhere in college, but I can't be sure.  I read some article for people who procrastinate (another thing I've been accused of that I think is utterly untrue), and the article suggested setting a timer when faced with a task you were avoiding.  So I started doing that with things like homework and cleaning - I'd set my timer for half an hour and promise myself that once my time was up I could take a break and do something more enjoyable.  It was a way I tricked myself into sitting down and actually starting whatever it was I didn't want to do.  More often than not, I settled into a groove and just kept at my task after my timer beeped.  I also used it for hobbies that often made me lose track of time.  For example, I only let myself play my guitar for half an hour before I did something more productive, or else I'd be playing all day.  I still use it for similar purposes.

The bottom line is that I use my timer for everything.  And it has gotten pretty ridiculous.  I have become somewhat obsessed with time, to a degree that makes me certain I'm somewhere on the obsessive compulsive spectrum.  Once my grandma, while living with me and my parents, said, "What do you think would happen if you stopped using your timer?" I was horrified by the thought, and was certain that releasing myself from the timer's grip would certainly make my world collapse.  That's when I realized that maybe I had a problem.

You see, I've discovered that this time fixation is related to control.  I really want to control my time and how I spend it, which has resulted in my being rather flustered whenever plans of how I spend my time are altered.  I've become pretty rigid, as if my whole day is ruined if something comes up that takes two hours of my day that I had planned for something else.

I'm trying (slowly but surely) to surrender this need for control.  Brian, the pastor that married Sam and me, told me that every morning he puts on his watch and is reminded to give his time to God that day.  I think I need to adopt a similar approach.  I truly want God to be in control of every aspect of my life, which includes the way I spend my time.  I want every minute spent to be glorifying to Him.  That means if someone needs me, I want to have a good attitude about giving up whatever I had planned for the sake of the other person.  I want to be useful to God, and if I have an iron grip on my time, it limits the ways He can use me. 

I'll probably still use my timer and try to make the most of my time; it really has helped with that procrastination issue.  The change I'm working toward is in my attitude.  I don't want to be resentful when my plans are hijacked - I want to look at it as an opportunity to be flexible and humble, recognizing that my time isn't more important than anyone else's.  It's a necessary change, one that I'm fairly certain will not come easily to me, but one that I'm willing to work for.

If any of you want to be mean, (ahem) or rather, help, you should call me on days when I have a lot going on and say you just need to talk for awhile.  You'll be able to see my progress in all this in how annoyed my voice sounds. :)  And my blogging time is now up.  Seriously.

1 comment:

  1. Love this and I am very similar! While I don't use a timer, I do watch my time and set limits. I remember in high school waking up and saying "okay, by 7:05 I need to be out of the shower, and by 7:11 I need to have my teeth brushed, ears cleaned, makeup removed and face lotion on. By 7:16 my hair needs to be dry..." and so on. It was crazy, I would stress when I was a minute off and it became a competition to finish my task before my time was hit! For me, this has come from my dad. Almost on a daily basis he would write his time out for the day - work, pick up kids, watch a game, practice golf swings, etc. and I loved this idea!

    But yes, the control issue is not so helpful anymore these days. I instantly tense up when something doesn't go to my exact time schedule...and this does not make for a flexible JulieAnn! Control is awesome until is takes over you...and that is usually the case for me. So, I will definitely call you when you are busy, busy, busy....and you can call me too. I want to be flexible and adaptable and be excited when God brings a different plan into my life, but I need help with becoming this person!

    Thanks for sharing!


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