I'm not saying I don't have any time to do any of those things. I do, after all, read, and write, and talk to my friends. But the time is so very, very limited, and more than ever, I must be cautious not to be sucked into things that might pull me away from what I should really be doing.
Sometimes I feel so burnt out that I can actually sense my mind going numb, to the point when it's hard to keep up with any intellectually challenging reading, or even with the news. I would define this as emotional and intellectual indigestion. Sometimes I wish I had more time for myself, more organized days, more control over my time. But, as I remind myself when it gets tough, I was not sent here to have more time for myself or to have the perfect schedule. I am here to love and serve the people that the Almighty put under my care.
So, the biggest sanity-saver is defining my priorities while going on a "fast" of time-wasters. Not having a TV is a great help, but the internet can steal just as much of your time. I do love to check in on my favorite blogs and websites, but if I sit down to do that (and it doesn't happen every day), I try to limit myself to no more than five blogs or websites per day. I wrote about it extensively in a former post on preventing blogging from taking over your life.
Same goes to talking on the phone and visiting with friends. Around here, I can't get out without stopping to greet at least three neighbors, and most likely to share a few minutes of friendly chat. Personally I'm not a type to schmooze all day long, but I do love a friendly, refreshing conversation. If I'm talking on the phone, I can usually do other things around the house in the meantime, so I don't regard this as a waste of time at all, even in the midst of a busy day.
On the upside, not having that much time for myself means I appreciate more the time I do have. If I read a book or an article on the internet, it will be a really good one. If I'm meeting a friend, it's like a small celebration. If I chance to spend half an hour on the couch curled up with some handcraft, I truly savor every moment.
Sometimes, however, there is no choice but to go on an information/activity diet, and focus on just what's important, if we don't want the order in our homes to go to ruin. Take a deep breath and be patient, and remember - for every thing there is a season.