Inspiration Journal Relationships

Ain’t Nobody Got Time for That

Ain’t Nobody Got Time for That
Written by Sara Estabrooks

My friend was in the middle of telling me about the homemade birthday gift she made for her husband.  She poured hours of her time into it.  She let her creativity shine through.  Every beautiful little detail mattered.  And she wanted to share the joy of her surprise with me.

But the whole time she spoke, I didn’t think about her.

I thought about me.

And how many things I have on my to-do list.

“I don’t have time for that,” I blurted out.

I saw the hurt in her eyes.  She didn’t know what to say.

I realized in that moment how selfish that phrase is.  All the negative messages it conveyed to my friend. 

Those words told her I wasn’t really listening to her.  I wasn’t thinking about her project.  I wasn’t trying to understand her love for her husband.

Those words told her I was thinking about myself.  All the things I have to do. 

Those words told her I’m too busy for this.  I don’t have time for you and your project. 

But it’s not really about time, is it?

Because we all have the same amount of time.  Twenty-four hours every day.  Seven days every week.

We all have to-do lists.  The things we need to do.  The things we want to do.  The things we make time for.

And we all have not-to-do lists.  The things we don’t need to do right away.  The things we don’t want to do.  The things we decide aren’t worth making time for.

We all have the same amount of time.

But we choose to spend our time differently.

My friend chose to set aside time specially devoted to crafting her gift.  The time didn’t appear out of thin air.  She carved that timeout of her already busy day by putting other things on her not-to-do list.  She let her laundry pile up a little.  She made boxed dinners for a few nights.  She turned off her phone to eliminate distractions.

She chose what to do and what not to do.

It made me think about all the things I choose to do in a given day.

I choose to sit down and sip my tea in the morning.  I choose to sweep the floor after lunch.  I choose to watch a show on Netflix with my husband.

But I don’t have time for that.  I really don’t.

While I relax with my morning tea, my exercise mat sits rolled up in the living room corner.  While I sweep the floor after lunch, my kids follow the motions of my broom, begging me to read them books.  While I watch Netflix with my husband, the dinner dishes wait piled up in the sink.

I only have time for the things I choose to do.

I don’t have time for infinitely many other things that I choose not to do.

And it’s not my friend’s problem.  In fact, it’s not a problem at all.  And if I resent not being able to create a beautiful homemade gift for my husband’s birthday, maybe I should change the things I make time for.  Maybe, instead of complaining about it, I should rearrange my schedule.

I can choose to stay off Facebook for a day.  I can choose to leave the laundry till tomorrow.  I can choose to stay up an hour late or get up an hour early.

I can choose to do the things I really want to do.

Because we all have the same amount of time.

We all have “time for that.”

We have twenty-four hours every day.

We have seven days every week.

Let’s stop complaining about the way we choose to spend our time.

Ain’t nobody got time for that.


About the author

Sara Estabrooks

Hi, I’m Sara!  A Catholic wife, mathematician, former teacher, sometimes artist, and mom of 3.  I’m here to open wide the doors of my heart and let you in on my joys, my struggles, my questions, and my life lessons.   My goal is to grow in kindness, virtue, and prayer, and invite you to grow along with me.  I’m moving forward step by step every day, and I’m so happy you’re joining me on this journey.

You can find my prayers and reflections on my blog: To Jesus, Sincerely.

  • “Let’s stop complaining about the way we choose to spend our time.” Yes! That’s the only fair response. We make many, many choices each day about how we spend our time each day. It’s time to own it! Thanks for sharing, Sara. 🙂

    • Adrianne Meldrum

      Yes! This is the statement that hit me. We all have different choices to make, let’s stop comparing and embrace our choices.

      • It’s so true, comparing ourselves to others is a huge temptation. And it only leads to discontent. I love how you said we need to “embrace our choices,” that’s the PERFECT wording! Thanks for stopping by, Adrianne!

    • So perfect: We need to own up to our choices. I love the way you said that. Thanks for reading 🙂

  • Hail Marry Blog

    Oh, my goodness, Sara. This post is so true. I’ve been agonizing over how I spend my time lately. Spot on, Sara!

    • Sara Estabrooks

      Thank you for the comment! I know I’ve hurt others by criticizing how they spend their time, and have been hurt by others from similar comments. It all comes down to owning our choices!

  • Erica Sutherland

    I love this! It’s so true and I love your take on this 🙂

    • Thanks! I’m glad you liked it. I knew I needed to write it, because I’ve been hurt by this line as much as I’ve hurt others.

  • Sharlene Habermeyer

    Thank you Sara for your thoughtful words–inspiring and thought-provoking! You made my day!

    • Awww so glad I could bring some inspiration into your day! Thanks for taking the time to read it 🙂

  • MoniqueDG

    I love this! Your thoughts and message really hit home. Thanks for sharing.

  • Molly

    You put words to something that has been spinning around in my brain a lot lately. Thank you for this!

  • Chris Carter

    I couldn’t love this more. The message hit my heart hard, and it should hit everyone just as hard. We all have the SAME amount of time and it’s all about what we CHOOSE to do with it. I hear it all the time- the groaning about time and not having enough and those who share bitter resentment about their limited time… enough! We ALL have important choices to make. THANK YOU for this. Sharing everywhere. <3

    • I’m glad this resonated with you! It hit me hard too, as soon as I realized the implications of my attitude, and I just KNEW I had to write this article. Thank you for sharing, I appreciate it.

  • Anni H

    Such a beautiful, thought-provoking article! Thank you for sharing your insight and experience.

  • Caitlyn Anderson

    Love this!!! Such eye-opening thoughts here, Sara.