It's Tuesday again - the day when we link up with Holley Gerth's blog to share our journey to our God-sized Promised Lands. Each week she gives us something to post about. Our assignment for this week was to post about one thing you are choosing to decrease so you can help your dream grow.
My thing I am decreasing is my to do list.
I know this may sound a bit counter-productive, but if you saw my to do list, you'd see the problem. First let me start with a little explanation of my personality. Have you ever seen the Pixar movie Up? Remember the dog - he'd be talking and suddenly his head would whip around and he'd yell, "Squirrel!"
Well, that's me without a to do list.
I tend to be easily distracted if I don't have that list in front of me. My days seem to slip away if I don't have my weekly goals written in ink somewhere - preferably right at eye level.
The other problem is, I do not have very realistic view of time. Ask my husband - I'm not sure how many times I've stopped after church to talk to someone "for a minute" and the next thing I know, my husband is tapping me on my shoulder letting me know 30 minutes have gone by and the kids are expiring in the car from lack of sustenance. I've been known to go into a book store and not emerge until several HOURS later. I often stay up WAY TOO LATE reading "just one more chapter."
So, I regularly overestimate what I can get done in a day. I have grandiose ideas of cleaning the entire house, doing the big grocery store shop, grooming the dog AND writing two chapters in my novel in progress. Then, I wonder why I get frustrated and feel guilty when I don't get 48 hours worth of work done in 24.
The light bulb moment came for me about a year ago. At the time, I was working three regular part time jobs with a couple little extra things like pet sitting on the side. I was really busy and I packed a lot into each day just out of necessity.
I was in the midst of cleaning the house and realized I felt horribly guilty. Why? Because I wasn't doing something else. I had packed my to do list so full, there was no way I could get it all done. In addition to that, I was putting pressure on myself to try to take on too much. When you are working three part time jobs, there isn't a lot else you can do besides take running the household and taking care of your family.
I expected myself to be superwoman, and when I wasn't, I wasted a lot of time and energy feeling guilty. I rushed from one thing to another and never really got anything truly done - or at least didn't get it done effectively - which added to my stress. My mind was never at rest because I was always thinking about what I should be doing.
I never lived in the moment and it was exhausting and defeating.
So, as hard as it is, I have learned that I can only do so many things at one time be that in a given day or in a certain season of my life. There are certain things that always have to be done like cleaning the bathroom, making dinner and washing clothes. I am not wasting time taking care of my family. I'm not squelching on my God-sized dream because being a mom and a wife is part of who I am, too.
At the same time, when I am in the midst of trying to launch my freelance writing career - that may not be the time to indulge in a deep cleaning of the house, including reorganizing all the kitchen cupboards and alphabetizing the spices.
Different times will come with different priorities. Saying not now, does NOT mean that not ever. It just means it might have to wait for a little bit.
Right now, I am working on launching my freelancing career with a focus on pets (I love animals). That means that I probably can't simultaneously write a novel and a Bible study, plus overhaul this blog and expand readership while still taking care of my family, implementing a new exercise regime and renovating my home.
Unless, of course, you all want to visit me in a padded room!
So, I am learning that in my life, at this moment, less is more. Less on my to do list gives me the freedom and room to move toward my God-given dreams. It gives my life margin.
And when we are trying to find our way to our God-sized Promised Land, don't we all need a little more margin?
~ Blessings, Bronte