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We need to take time for ourselves

July 29, 2012
By CRAIG HOWELL , Weirton Daily Times

It always seems as if we don't have nearly enough time to do all the things we want in today's world.

We get busy in our lives and can't always make room for those extra things. Sometimes, we even don't have the time for those things or people who already are in our lives.

For me, work often takes up the majority of my time. It's often difficult to do anything outside of those work hours, even on the weekend.

It's not something I necessarily like about my life, because I often don't have the time to even relax, and I have lost track of many aspects of my life over the years.

People with whom I once was close, I now barely see. We're able to keep in touch through various means, but sometimes it might even be several years before we see each other in person.

That especially is something I'm not happy about. There are people who have been in my life, but I haven't been able to make time for them. Eventually, they move on and we lose touch. I know there definitely are people I wish that hadn't happened with, and now there may never be any turning back.

That was one of the nice things about my recent high school reunion. I got the chance to see people I hadn't seen in 15 years. Some I really didn't even know all that well.

But, at the end of the event we all went back to our regular lives, and probably won't see each other for at least another five years.

On top of all that, it's not healthy for us not to take time out for ourselves. We wear ourselves down, start to feel the stress more easily, feel unwell and our mood starts to change.

For me, I often find myself having difficulty concentrating.

The last few years, I've basically allowed myself to let one part of my life take the lead.

I've found myself thinking about that a lot in recent months.

I've been able to do a few enjoyable things this year and make some new memories, but there are still many lost opportunities.

I've missed out on major events in the lives of my friends, I've missed making special memories with special people.

Now, some of those people are gone from my life in one way or another and there are no more opportunities for new memories or to relive old ones.

At some point, we all have to take the time to look at our lives and decide what is important to us.

Life is difficult and work has its place, but it shouldn't be the only thing.

It's important for us to take that time to decompress after a long day at work. It's important to spend time with those we love and to find a way to do activities you enjoy.

Take the time to make room for the people you love.

Don't let yourselves drift apart and don't let the little things, or even the big things, get in the way of spending time together.

People come into our lives for a reason, after all.

Most importantly, let those people know how you feel about them before they are gone.

Find some hobbies you enjoy, even if it's just something you can do for an hour or two a week.

Even if it is just something as simple as reading a book or going for a drive. Maybe you just want to go ride your bike for a little while or go for a jog.

If you can get a weekend completely free, take a short trip somewhere. Just get away from your daily troubles for a little bit. Turn off the computer and even the phone and don't let anyone take that time away from you.

Even something like taking in a small community event for a few hours or going to a sporting event can be a big help.

There are plenty of concerts, fairs and other things which take place in our area, or even within a few hours drive from us.

Take it in, maybe get a group of people together and enjoy the experience together. Make those memories.

Maybe even try something new, or go somewhere you've never been.

If an opportunity presents itself and you don't think you'll ever get it again, go ahead and do it.

Don't let your life just fall into one, single pattern. Don't follow the same schedule each and every day.

Life is supposed to be about experiencing the wonderful things of this world. Whether it's art, sports, or just sitting out on the porch and listening to the birds, it all should be experienced and appreciated.

We need to take time for ourselves at some point. It can't just be about one or two things, otherwise what is the point of it all.

(Howell, a resident of Colliers, is managing editor of The Weirton Daily Times, and can be contacted at or followed on Twitter @CHowellWDT)

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