Reclaiming Your Life
So many of us are running from one thing to the next and we truly believe that if we stop, things will collapse around us. We know that we are efficient, hard working, and busy, but that is the way it has always been and always will be.
We try to ignore the fact that when we stop and think about it, we are not living our best life. We feel a twinge of guilt every time we snap at our spouse or scold our children too harshly. We look at our ever growing to-do lists and we feel defeated as we cannot keep up.
We keep putting the things we truly care about off because "one day" we will get to them. We make poor choices about what we are eating and miss working out and even sleep. Then we hate ourselves for failing.
We need to get out of this vicious cycle.
I am right there with you (hence all the WE talk) and I have been doing more research and more thinking about why my first response to the question "How are you doing?" is "BUSY" Why is that becoming my identity and why am I allowing that?
I do not want to be this person. I look at all the wasted time I spend being productive over things that do NOT matter nearly as much as the things that I push to the back burner.
No one is going to remember that it took me a week and half to grade my students short stories instead of the week I promised. No one is going to remember that I failed my reading goal in 2018 even though I am an English teacher and I should read more books (Maybe if I didn't try to schedule reading 20 pages a day in 5 books at a time, I could keep up with my goals...)
What I am trying to say is that for the most part in our lives, we put these "requirements" on ourselves. We keep saying yes to things and filling our plates and we forget all the adages "Haste makes waste" and "to do two things at once is to do neither"
We forget that we only have so many hours in the day and we are never satisfied with what we get done. Who says that the house always has to be clean? Who is making us do the extra work to try to get a promotion?
I have been reading Simplify by Bill Hybels (Again because the first time clearly didn't stick) and re-reading Pada 1 of the Yoga Sutras and thinking about how we use our time and how we define ourselves.
Do we define ourselves by all the things that we do or by who we actually are? If I am frantically doing laundry, cleaning the bathroom, and snapping at my mom on the phone that is who I am becoming. I am defining myself by the things that I am not getting done, while trying to have a conversation with my mom and then I am defining myself by the guilt I have when the conversation is over and the laundry and bathroom are still not done and I feel like I am failing as a daughter and a wife. I know this situation sounds ridiculous, but don't lie to me or yourself and say that you don't do the same thing.
If you are reading this big it is because you also are at your wits end and you want things to change, but you don't know how.
I want you to make a promise to me that you will re-evaluate your schedule and that you will do the following:
Buy a notebook, journal, or calendar (I have a panda planner: that I use incorrectly because I am cheap and so I use a 2 page day set up as a week set up)
Grab some different colored pens
Pick a color for the different areas of your life. Mine is:
-Orange: Work Stuff (My full time Teaching Job)
-Read: Friends and Family
-Pink: Yoga Business Stuff
-Blue: My husband
-Green: Areas to Grow
-Light Blue: My Spiritual Life
-Purple: My House
Here is my calendar for the week:
Look at your calendar for the week: Write Down the Things you are planning on doing and make sure that your colors are balanced or that you can change things up next week to balance. I have a TON of Student Council stuff this week including Fri and Sat. I'm make sure I have more down time and Kyle time next week.
AND when you miss a week and things start to collapse back in on you, you won't call yourself a failure, you will just try again. It is going to be hard work, but you already work hard towards all the other things, try working hard toward having a better life.
I am constantly trying to refine, say no and one of the areas I have changed is adding more green and less purple. We will survive if the laundry happens every other week (or once a month ;) )
I hope this helps some. Feel free to reach out. We are in this together. You can reclaim your life.
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