If you know me very well, you know that I spend a lot of time thinking about managing self--I write about it, teach about it, work on it in my own personal life. Managing self in the midst of anxiety is pretty much all there is, the north star of emotional maturity and the holy grail of relationships. In case you don't know, I think about it a lot.
If you know me at all, you know that I obsess about time, especially time management. I'm always on the quest for something--a new app, a unique calendar, an organizational system, anything that will help me beat time into submission, allowing me to be more productive, more efficient, somehow be able to do it all.
So when I read a friend's email last week, an email in which he casually mentioned that he was learning to "manage self in time," I almost gasped. Well of course! How had I missed that?
The next day, I had a spiritual direction appointment with Joyce, who knows all about my obsession with time and often gently nudges me to think about time differently. So as I described my epiphany ("You don't just manage self! And you can't really manage time! You have to manage your self in time!"), she smiled her knowing smile and asked me how this new revelation changed things for me. Well. "It changes everything, doesn't it? I mean, time can't be managed, right? It's a GIFT, not a commodity, right? So, it has to be received, not battled as an enemy . . . and if time is a gift, then I'm not a victim! So, I just have to keep learning to manage my self . . . in TIME! This changes everything!" And bless her heart if she didn't just sit and smile like I was a well-loved toddler just figuring out how the light switch works.
So sometimes I learn things that I should have already known, things that are so simple and yet so profound . . . and then, by the next day, I've half forgotten it and get to learn it all over again another day.