” We are a tribe of dogmatic individuals who strive 24-7 to have it all but as a society, we don’t know when to throw in the towel.” Ellen Miller
How many times have you found yourself fighting for something that you know you can’t win. Maybe you held on to a project that was in no way going to come to fruition or maybe you tried with all your heart to make others care about something that you were passionate about but to no avail.
We drive ourselves and work very hard. Success, by society standards, is how much money/status/material possessions that you have. I know this as well as the next person. Starting off in advertising sales and working for a society magazine, I was caught up in what I thought was important. After a mission trip to Mexico, I remembered who I was and what was really important. I started to see the things that surrounded me were not at all in line with what was really important to me. People were lying, cheating, stealing. They were miserable people who, from the outside, seemed to have everything. I was a part of that all the while feeling like something was missing.
After returning from the mission trip, I quit sales altogether and had no job in sight. I only knew I had to get out of the environment I was in. Two weeks to the day I received a call from a friend at the church we attended and there was a position that seemed to have been created encompassing everything I had ever done. I truly felt it was God showing me that I had to trust in him and everything would work out. Why was I so surprised and overwhelmed? Growing up my mom always said that if I followed “God’s instruction manual for life” that things would work out like they should.
Well, God knows I am not perfect but I do know what is important to me. I am working very hard to not let the materialistic things get in the way of what is important. It is an everyday challenge to focus on my life and his plan and let go of the consumer in me. Sometimes I fall prey to “The Jones”. They seem to have everything, right? THe surprising thing is, once inside THe Jones’ house, they don’ have it figured out either.
Bottom line is, I know what is important to me. I am focused on being a good person. I am trying to be the kind of wife, mom, daughter, friend that I would want. Do I fall short? Every single day. I am told though, “The key is not to prioritize what’s on your schedule, but to schedule your priorities.” My schedule is full of my faith, my family and my friends.
If you looked at your schedule, what ranks highest? Like it or not, it tells you exactly what you think is important.
Heaven knows I do too much. Even after I have cut back and said no to so many things, I find my self at times, overwhelmed. Everyone says, “Take time for yourself” but it seems like if I ever get the chance it quickly fills with, “I really need your help”. In “Inspiration for Girlfriends” Miller gives us a guideline to help save our sanity. It is pretty simple in theory and there are only three things: Rest, Renewal, Rededication. Today we will address resting.
Miller calls her period of rest, which she takes every year and for a lengthy time, Cocooning. Miller says it is, ” an absolute requirement to renewing one’s mind, body and soul.” She suggests that we take a week to up to a month to unplug and focus ourselves but even she finds it hard to rest. I can relate. The minute I find time at home I fill it with cleaning or organizing something. I recently had surgery and they told me to rest and it was so difficult for me to just sit.
I am going to take some time for my own sanity’s sake. My life is dedicated, by choice, to helping others but when my tank is empty, then I can’t give anything to anyone. I can only be effective if I take the time to fill up spiritually. When I am totally rested and focused, I am amazed not only by what I can achieve, but about how effective I can be. Everything falls apart when I am depleted. Knowing this is half the battle and I know it is easier said than done. (There are so many other clichés I could use here!) I know I am not alone in this. We spread ourselves so thin that the least little thing will break us. I am going to challenge myself to take at least 1 hour this week only for myself: no phone, no computer, no plug.
Wish me luck.