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There’s only so much time in the day. We all know this, yet we try to fit so much into every day. We have lists, plans, goals, desires–but not enough time to accomplish them.

I started the year with a plan to accomplish more of my goals and accomplish more each day. I downloaded Habitica, an app that gamifies habit making. The app is like an RPG, in which your character levels up as you meet your goals, and loses health if you ignore the habits you’re trying to build.

I started off realistic but ambitious. I set many goals for myself–daily, weekly, and monthly–and added a few of my to-dos such as doctor appointments that need to be scheduled. I envisioned finding pockets of time each day to devote to my self-care habits. 30 minutes for painting, 30 minutes to practice the cello, 30 minutes to write, 30 minutes to learn something, and 30 minutes to read.

I soon realized ambition isn’t enough. There literally isn’t enough time, energy, or desire to do everything I want to do in a day. So I had to prioritize. Although I leveled up quite a bit, after a month of wanting to do it all and my character dying several times, I changed my daily goal to “paint, write, learn, or read” and removed the cello completely.

About 13 years ago, I decided to realize a lifelong dream and learn to play the cello. I took lessons pretty consistently over the years, with some time off here and there when life got in the way. My latest break has been seen November, with the idea that I would begin again in January once things calmed down. Yet here it is February, and I have no desire to take it back up again.

While I love the cello, there’s no room for it in my life right now. I don’t want to abandon it completely, but I have to be realistic. My current plans don’t allow for time to practice the cello. My professional, personal, and volunteer life don’t have time for the cello. And I accepted that it’s okay. I can set it aside for now and begin again some time in the future when (if) my life slows down a bit.

That doesn’t make me a failure. It just means my life is in a different place right now, and my focus has shifted. There’s only so much time in a day.



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