Time: 3:04 a.m. I broke my rule. I checked my phone when the baby woke up to breastfeed. Just one little peek, I swear. I got an email asking to review my subscription box on instagram. So, a good 15 minutes later looking at the account and I’m still not sure if it’s a good fit. Gaw. The kids are asleep and I should be too. Dang it. Double fail.
The thing about trying to make it as a small micro business is to walk the fine line between profitability and hobby status. (BTW did you know the technical definition of “small” for a business varies by industry and can be applied to companies with tens of millions in annual receipts and over 1,000 employees in some cases?) When you’re a mom-preneur, especially when you’re just getting started, the margin for error on that line is really too close for comfort. How to spend marketing dollars is a dilemma. How to spend any dollar is a dilemma. Such considerations can be paralyzing so that you just want to bury your head in your pillow. Perhaps when you wake up the situation will have somehow changed with just the passing of time instead of by your hard work, which often must include making tough decisions and mistakes.
How to spend money, though, pales in comparison to the dilemma over how to spend the greatest resource: our time. Everyone is busy in 2017. We know that life hasn’t gotten less complicated with the advent of more (and increasingly, pervasively more) technology. So, I have a dishwasher (literally one of my favorite possessions) but that doesn’t mean that the time it frees isn’t immediately filled with other activities. It doesn’t give me more time, though I am so thankful that it lets me spend my time in different ways. Somehow every one of us always ends up at the end of the same 24 hour day and we are faced with the potentially daunting question: did we live it well?
As a candle maker, development worker, volunteer, wife, mother, daughter, friend, neighbor, there are a lot of responsibilities constantly calling my name. And always those same little 24 hours. While those titles may change, each of us has that list. The reality is that whether I let those responsibilities overwhelm me or not, in just 24 hours today will again become yesterday. Time doesn’t stop. The challenge is to use it before we literally lose it.
Thank God that each day is new. Seriously, what would I do without the beautiful reset of a new sunrise and a new day ready for me to choose how to spend it to the best of my abilities? A new day to relentlessly pursue that perfect percentage of attending to all my responsibilities well, but not investing more time – my most precious resource – than need, lest it be wasted.
Ultimately, this goal is intrinsically elusive. I recently bought a notepad that reminds me “Life is a journey.” So true. It’s both unnerving and reassuring that there is no destination in life. The only difference between those two perspectives is a mindset. I can choose how I respond to the finiteness I feel in my humanity – limited time, limited energy. I can embrace it and roll with the ebb and flow of a persistent new day, or I can dig my heels into insecurity that makes my feelings something to be suffered through in this life. Either response is mine to choose. Neither will change the journey. But one will make it a pleasant and enjoyable ride to take.
MEET THE GUEST WRITER
Anna Reyes is the candle maker behind Light Shine Candles. Anna and her husband, Rafael, are development workers with Global Outreach Developments Internationalin Nashville and El Salvador. They have 3 children who are a constant reminder of both life’s brevity and importance. Checkout www.lightshinecandles.com to find a stockist in your area or subscribe to her monthly curated box, The Shine Club.