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Finding Time

By Tammy Danielson

Fri, Dec 28th, 2012
Posted in All Columnists

Everyone is losing time, in search of time, can’t find time, or can’t find enough time. Oh Father Time, where art thou!

I recently heard a speaker at work say we all have enough time but that we simply don’t “make” time. Time can sure get a bashing and usually is the guilty culprit in most really great excuses. Excuses that quickly come to mind are, “Oh, I sure wish I could help, but I don’t have time.” Hmm... that sounds all too familiar and know it has been given to me on occasion.

This past year, I fell into the so-called time trap as I thought about if I should go back for more college. There was absolutely no way I could make it work (said the voice in my brain). With a kid in school and all of my hobbies, that meant I would need to give up a hobby, and how would my homework get done as the dishes and laundry piled up, and how would my family time be jeopardized because of pending homework time needed?

Despite all of these good excuses, I started back to school anyway. Amazingly, my family gets along without me on school nights (a good break for all of us?), the laundry is done, the dishes are done, and I am still making jewelry and just picked up a new craft this month! So, if the excuse elf in my head had won out, returning to college would go unfilled on my bucket list.

When people ask me, “Where do you find the time to do all of that?” I share that it is easier to find time to do the things you love. So as we grow in life and find interests that turn into passions, those passions are what we dedicate our time to. Now, if you asked me to add rock climbing or mineral collecting into my schedule, you might get the excuse that I don’t have time for that as I would rather take a sharp stick in the eye than have to use my time for those things.

The other way to look at your time allotment is to determine what brings value to your life. You can choose to cut things from your time that don’t bring you a good return or value. For example, I have told my son that I’ve committed to not watching reality TV this next year. After all, do they care about the reality of my life?----probably not since it doesn’t involve designer labels, exotic vacations, or crazy women cat fights. Instead, I buy clearance so I can afford to buy more for my son and more crafting supplies. Our most treasured vacation involves camping all summer with our friends or visiting relatives, and I choose to be around people that enjoy life and have great attitudes---hence, no cat fights. So in light of not wanting to sound preachy, my final thoughts are:

1) If you are not happy and wonder how to find more time to get to that happy point, try looking at the value of the things that are keeping you busy.

2) Value=personal satisfaction.

3) Try to trim the non-essentials, excess, and fluff and do what makes you happy---find your passion!

My friend makes these and simply calls them her oatmeal bars. But when someone else shared them as “Passion Bars,” I knew this recipe needed to be included today. Yum!

Passion Bars

2 cups quick cooking oats

1 cup all-purpose flour

1 cup brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

3/4 cup butter, softened

1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk

3/4 cup peanut butter

1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease a 9x13 inch baking pan. In a large bowl, stir together the oats, flour, brown sugar, salt and baking soda. Cut in the butter to form a crumbly mixture. Reserve 1 1/2 cups of the crumbs, and pat the rest evenly into the bottom of the prepared pan. In a medium bowl, stir together the sweetened condensed milk and peanut butter. Spread evenly over the oatmeal layer. Sprinkle the chocolate chips over the peanut butter layer, then crumble the reserved crust over the top. Bake for 30-35 minutes in the preheated oven until golden brown. Cool completely before cutting into bars.

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