My coaching call is each Thursday from 6:30-7:00pm. This starts a half an hour after Rachel gets home from her guitar lesson, and ends five minutes before I need to leave for my church assignment. I will get home late Thursday evening and then get up early Friday, do some work, get the kids to my Parent’s, do some work, go for a quick swim and head back to my Parent’s house to pick up the kids.
The rest of Friday was spent in busyness. Then I would set my alarm on Saturday morning for 6:00am so I could go grocery shopping. If I can white-knuckle it until Saturday afternoon, then I will get some relaxation in while I watch a baseball game.
Something about the “I will relax then,” “I will enjoy then,” seemed so elusive. It seemed that was because it really was. We hear the old cliche, “the grass I always greener.” We say that because we believe it or we want to believe it.
Dan Miller, New York Times bestselling author & career coach, said that the grass is greener where you water. My watering had been done on all the busyness, all the errands. I didn’t want to be doing this but I didn’t do anything to change it.
Dan also talks about what your 15% is? Meaning, what are the things you are currently doing, that you need to let go of in order to accomplish what you want?
Many of us live lives of quiet desperation; never get to what we really want; because we never have time.
I never have time because I keep doing so many things just to fill my schedule. We all have a finite amount of willpower. When I tell myself that I’ll get to that later, then I’m tired from the day. There is dinner to cook and kids to put to bed. “Maybe I will get to it tomorrow” is the all-too-common story we tell ourselves.
I had to take a painful look at myself. Painful because it hurts to put yourself on a positive path. We need to admit that what we were doing wasn’t working. Who wants to stand up and shout that to the world? What brings you joy is another thing to ask yourself.
For me, I had to realize that all my energy was being spent on work, church assignments, and watching kids. Not that I don’t obtain joy from those activities, I had to recognize that I couldn’t fit one more thing in to my schedule. Food writer event? Sounds exhausting! Watch the kids just one more afternoon? Okay, I’ll start writing again next week. Be part of the coaching call? Nope! Maybe I’ll spent another $297 next quarter and be more involved then.
It was time to draw boundaries. Next time never comes. I was sinking one drip at a time. The ship takes water on slowly–so much so that we don’t notice, or we don’t want to notice so we turn our head the other way.
Living in the deficit was so exhausting. Always focusing on what we cannot do and what we are not getting to. Maybe I’ll get to it when I retire. Ouch!
I started unwinding; some by choice and some created by the universe. I hurt my back this past month–that limited me in some things I like to do. I also received a new church assignment. When they asked, I said yes but that in order to serve, I needed to let go of my previous assignment. My old self would have said to do them both (and then resent it later). I was also working on two stressful real estate deals at the time.
It was a good time to recognize what I can do–which thankfully wasn’t everything I had been doing. Previously I would have added to the plate and bought self help books to fit it all in–straight on the road to burnout.
Enjoy your time more, or it’s all misery. Nothing I did had joy; even though I was doing all these things so I could have joy; or so I thought.