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What Would Jen Do?: Time Warp

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Life is confusing, shrinks are expensive and complaining will make you unpopular. Ask Jen instead.

Dear Jen,
I own a very successful business, have two kids and a husband and donate much of my time to a charity that I’m very passionate about. The problem is that I’ve always thought of myself as a traveler, it’s truly one of my favorite things to do, but I recently realized that I haven’t left the country in over eight years. Or gone on any sort of real vacation for that matter. I know you’re probably going to tell me to just do it, but I’m constantly exhausted and overwhelmed and barely have time to brush my teeth at night, let alone take off across the ocean. Is there any way to make this happen and still run my busy life?
- Swamped and Stuck at Home

Dear Swamped,
Thanks to the hard work of people with gigantic brains, we now know that time is an illusion. Or at least we (if we are anything like me) know, but we really just sort of pretend to know. I’ve read books, attended lectures, watched informational movies, meditated, gotten stoned with hippies and I still have no idea what the hell they’re talking about. That’s not to say I haven’t had a few, fleeting glimpses, but I can count the seconds on one hand - Wait! Wait! I get it….oh, nevermind. The theory I feel I can really toss around at a party, however, is that not having time is an illusion. For example:

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I don’t have time to find a real parking place. Oh, look at that, I just spent three hours I don’t have getting my car out of the tow garage, another two getting lost on the way home and fifteen minutes complaining about it to my husband.

I don’t have time to eat lunch. Oh, look at that, I’m face down on the sidewalk outside my office. Now I have to eat a ham sandwich and get my tooth fixed.

When we're forced, suddenly the time is there. So why don't we force ourselves to do the happy thing? Isn't it a no brainer? What's more important than that anyway?

This belief that if you take time off your entire life will collapse is dangerous, because if you don't take time off, you will collapse. The time is there, and if you don't use it to do the things that are good for you emotionally and physically, your body will eventually put its foot down and make you sick. Bodies do it all the time. Which means that all that time that you don't have to travel will very likely be spent in bed with a bucket by your head instead.

So spend a little time each day getting your accounts in order, train people to fill in while you're gone and start flipping through some travel magazines. When you get back all tanned, relaxed and inspired oh, look at that, your business will be fine and you'll be ten times as mighty. The force is with all of us, we just have to decide to use it.

Photo by Kbaird via flickr