Nov 28, 2011

VBU Days (or Hours or Minutes)

By Tracy Astle

Of necessity I live a very schedlued life. Weekdays are usually packed full from 5:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. with teaching seminary, working at an accounting office, maybe running a few errands before going home, then dinner with the family. Evenings vary between attending high school basketball games to watch my daughter cheer, Relief Society meetings, exercising, maybe writing, and an occasional ANWA meeting  (PMWriters are a very patient group).

Weekends aren't much better. Saturdays are devoted to household stuff like menu planning, grocery shopping, laundry and the like. Sundays are for church, preparing seminary lessons for the week and family dinners twice a month.


Don't get me wrong. I am quite happy with all the things filling up my hours and days, but as you can imagine my schedule sometimes leaves me wishing I could just sit and do nothing at all. Only problem is, just parking myself and vegging out doesn't really work for me. I'm not happy when I'm wasting time. That doesn't refresh me or renew my energy.

I've been stewing on what to do about this and recently realized what I need. It's not time to do nothing that I really want; it's time do what I feel like doing rather than what I need to do - VBU time, Valuable But Unplanned. In VBU time I write, wander the house with a clorox wipe or dusting cloth in my hand cleaning things that usually are forgotten, sit and watch a whole college football game with my family, take my daughter out to lunch. You know, all the things I wish I had more time for. The only rules for VBU time are that I cannot have a schedule to follow and the things I choose to do have to be of value to me.

I have found that when I adopt this attitude toward toward minutes, hours or occasionally days that aren't committed to some specific purpose I feel relaxed, rejuvinated and satisfied - much better than when I waste time which never adds to joy in life. Some people might call this doing nothing, and thats okay. It's still valuable to me.

Maybe you could use a little VBU time, too.


  1. I feel the same way! Sometimes I need to sit and decompress but I could spend an hour playing some mindless game on my computer and just remain frustrated at myself for not using that time wisely. So now I make sure that I do have some "down time" but it's spent doing something valuable or useful in some way. Even painting toenails has merit!

  2. VBU time is essential! I think it falls under the category of wholesome recreational activities...recreation doesn't always mean playing sports or swimming,etc. It is still an "action" word.(Even taking a nap requires action!) It is time away from the things that are essential. It is time for "filling our well."
    Thank for the great reminder!

  3. What a great idea. Valuable But Unplanned. Thanks for a great catchphrase that will hopefully help me use my downtime more wisely.


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