Do you ever think to yourself, "I wish I had time for that!"? I do. And sadly, too often. I feel like my life moves at a million miles and hour and the only time I have to relax is when I get in bed at night. I don't like it.
I've always been a busy person and I thrive on having things to do, but sometimes I wonder what all the busyness is getting me. It doesn't make me enjoy things more because I rush through them. It doesn't give me a chance to soak it in like I really wanted to do in 2013. And it certainly doesn't help me relax.
A few weeks ago, I was really convicted (and that's not a word I use often) of busyness, of filling every minute. It wasn't making me feel like a good person and I didn't feel like I truly was able to enjoy anything because I was looking ahead at the next task. I'm very goal-oriented and hard on myself by nature, but I started to realize that something had to change. And that something? It was me.
Before we left for vacation I got sick. That yucky virus, can't do anything and have to lay around all day kind of sick. I was miserable. And when I started feeling like myself a few days later, I was relaxed. Totally relaxed. I wasn't worried about things that needed to be done or how I was going to fit things in. I just relaxed and soaked in great fun with my three guys.
I mentioned to my husband a few times as we left vacation that I wanted to try to cut out some of the busyness and just relax when we got home. I really need a few minutes each day to just chill and recharge. And I'm so thankful that I've been able to do just that.
One of the main things that kept popping in my mind was what do I have to show with all of this busyness? And I realized I had nothing. I realized that the time I was spending doing who knows what was actually time I was missing doing the things I love. Most of all, I realized that to be the best person I can be for my family and myself, I needed to slow down.
The world doesn't end if the laundry isn't folded the second the dryer buzzes. It's not going to hurt me to run two miles instead of five on a busy day. In fact, I took ten days off of running and I think it's the best thing that ever happened for both my body and my motivation.
For me, it's been a change of perspective and it's been a huge blessing.
Last week, our first week home after vacation, was busy. We had Vacation Bible School at our church every night which meant that I left my house at 7:30 AM and got home after 9 PM. Even though I was naturally tired at the end of the week (anyone who has helped with VBS can understand), I didn't feel frazzled, I didn't feel rushed and I was relaxed.
During last week, I made some changes. I made a concerted effort to start my day with prayer and a devotion, something that sadly, falls by the wayside many times. I also made it a point to have a real lunch break everyday. And by real I mean instead of running 4-6 miles, showering and eating at my desk, I made lunch and took a lunch break by myself two days during which I was able to read (something I love to do, but don't do too often) Porch Lights. Another day, I did go for a run, but on the last day, I had lunch with a friend.
Instead of spending my Friday morning trying to paint the kitchen or rush through another of my summer projects before picking up the boys from their babysitter at lunch, I picked them up after my hair appointment and we had a fun afternoon together and then I went shopping with my sister. On Saturday and Sunday, I woke up early (I always do), but instead of jumping up to go run or do something else, I stayed in bed and read some. I can't tell you when the last time I did that was.
This week has been the same. I've kept that intentional prayer and devotion time in the morning, I've had a lunch break most days (although I did run during lunch twice) and I've been relaxed. It's been great. We've had a blast playing with the boys outside after dinner every night and I've managed to stay up later and feel so refreshed in the morning.
And you know what? Everything is good. Our house is clean, the laundry's done, I've cooked every night and we haven't spent the whole night in the kitchen, I've run as many miles as I normally do, I've had so much fun with my family and I've just felt relaxed. I'm full.
I'm so thankful for that conviction of busyness and even more thankful that I am letting go and letting God guide me. The one thing that is helping me the most is that prayer time each morning. It's something that helps me stay grounded and focused and gives me calmness every day.
What do you do when you feel overwhelmed with busyness?
What do you cut out so you have more time to relax?
Why are you busy? Is it because you need to organize better, try to fit too many things in or feel more accomplished when you're calendar is full? (I'd have to answer all of the above for myself!)