We write so much about fitness and taking the time to exercise, but that’s easier said than done.

I don’t have kids, but I can imagine that being a parent, whether you’re the full- or part-time caregiver, means you have just about ZERO free time to do things for yourself, and possibly even less personal space.

My issue is a different one. I live in Japan, where you’re seen as a slacker if you work less than 60 hours per week. I work 50, which is manageable, and  I still have enough time off so that I get to brag to all of my students about all of the crazy vacations I take, to places like Australia for 3 weeks or Thailand for 8 days. That might be one of the few perks of this job.

But my issue is about free time, and a very specific free time.

On my days off, I want to spend my time with my fiancé. Like, all of it. When we go to work, we take our breaks at the same time (in different offices), and spend them messaging each other. We are in pretty constant contact. That’s not a bad thing, not at all.

We also leave at about the same time for work each day. He goes at 10:40, and I leave a little closer to 11:00. So we get to spend our mornings together, too, which is great. All of our off time is spent together! I love it.

IMG_6951But I need to work out. I need to do yoga, or go running. We take 2 days off each week, and are often so worn out from work that we spend at least one of them laying around, doing a whole lot of nothing. I usually go running on the days off, and that’s fine. It’s only 30 minutes, and then I can go home and go back to doing nothing. I should probably try to do more, but it’s been cold lately.

As it turns out, I naturally wake up pretty early. I can go to bed at 1am, and I’ll wake up at around 7:30, because I wake up with the light. Not at sunrise, mind you, but when the light finally makes its way into my westward-facing door and windows. So I’m usually totally awake by 8am. Mark prefers to sleep until about 9:15, so THIS is my time.

Except, I can’t be loudly typing while I sit in bed next to him. So I have to be quiet.

It’s the perfect time to go into the spare room and do yoga, or go for a run. I wrote earlier about the excellent wireless headphones I use, and they are SO helpful.

IMG_4999I may only have 30-45 minutes to do a workout before he wakes up, or I have to wake him up, but it’s enough. That’s all I’ve ever needed. And it’s MY time that I have all to myself.

I’m writing about it because I think a lot of us have trouble finding the free time. And maybe it’s hard to wake up at 7am and do a workout at 8:30, and maybe that’s too late for people who work a 9-5 job. The point I want to make is that if you WANT to do something, you have to try to find or make the time to do it. It doesn’t necessarily have to be taken from something else, it just needs to be reorganized.

The reason I’m able to do all of it is because I do it at home. I don’t have the time to leave home, get on a train and go to a gym. I’ve got 45 minutes, tops, in the mornings. And that’s about it. So I’m making the most of the time I have.

Paying for a gym membership doesn’t do anything if you don’t have the time or the inclination to go. But it’s a lot easier for me to motivate myself to get out of bed and go into the next room to do a quick workout.

Eliminate the obstacles. Make it easier on yourself. And then you might actually be able to enjoy it, and still get on with the rest of your day!

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About germanymarie

I work hard, and I live hard.

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