As she progressed through her run thinking about today’s post focusing on ‘others’ – laying out the types of people to discuss that will be part of the post (supporters, collaborators, and the audience), she decided four blocks away from the laptop, that the theme for today will be ‘time’.  Well, you guessed it: that she is me again, Emilia (I promise that not all my writing will start in third person like that).

Time may seem like a random shift and it is.  However, it seemed fitting for this time of year.  Recently, the beginning of May has been a time when changes happen in my life.  What triggered my running brain to delve into this topic was one of the prompts in the simple business plan I was going through earlier today.  One of the questions was “Where do you see your business in x years”.  At first, I replaced the ‘x’ with ‘5’, but then I decided to change it to ‘2’.  Two years seems more manageable after all.  Closer.  More realistic and less of a ‘fantasy’ per se.  This got me thinking about how much can actually change in two years.  After all, two years ago, I was finishing up my graduate internship and had just moved to the city in pursuit of my first ‘adult’ job.  And now, here I am two years later, having never held your ‘typical’ full-time job with new and multiple employers pretty much every season.

If you’re thinking “Where is she going with this tangent about time and what it has been for her?”, I’ll be honest, I am not 100% sure.  I just know that it is important to think about when creating something new.  In grad school, almost every assignment we did when it came to program development, grant writing, or any other sort of planning required us to include a timeline.  This was vital for providing the project with a sense of direction, goals, and action steps to get to there.  This can seem intimidating for someone like me who is not a business guru or had not taken any classes on program development/management previously.  I consider myself a type A person, but that doesn’t mean I had ever sat down and made a formal timeline for my life detailing where I wanted to be and when.  One can argue that doing this gives you freedom to be fluid and change where you want to go with your life without stress about disrupting the timeline.  However, I’m going to argue that a timeline can also give you freedom.

Bear with me – this is a new idea for me too (honestly, it’s just coming to fruition as I type).  The motivation for thinking of a timeline in this way comes as a result of the concept from Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University.  Dave’s daughter, Rachel, claims that making a budget doesn’t limit your spending or ‘shackle’ it.  Rather, it gives you freedom and permission to spend.  Around the time I watched that video, I was falling into a pattern of excessive calorie calculations.  Adding up the amount of calories I had eaten in a day – this fixation on healthy eating was taking up a large amount of my mental space and energy, not leaving much for me to devote to others (or even myself in a more loving way).  I tried thinking of healthy lifestyle habits in a similar way to Rachel’s budget – I didn’t want to think of maintaining a healthy diet as limiting, but rather as freeing.

Short tangent long, thinking about time in this space and creating a timeline shouldn’t limit what you or your project can do (I just decided that instead of calling whatever this is that I’m doing a ‘business’, I’m going to call it my ‘project’ for now).  A timeline can give you freedom to explore where you want to direct your efforts, find ways to get there, practice trial and error in achieving certain action items and goals.

And that, my friends, is the story of how my article/post/write-up (I still don’t know exactly what I’m calling these) laying out the different categories of people relevant to my project shifted into a realization that I need to make myself a timeline.  Huzzah to that!

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