Last week my sister-in-law was over at my house. I had watched her little girl for her and when she came to pick her up she sat down and stayed for awhile. I sat down and tried to visit with her but the whole time I was feeling so anxious about all that I had to do. I got up several times to clean things up or do this and that. I just couldn’t sit and enjoy visiting with her.
The worst part about it is that I know she could tell that I was feeling that way. She was waiting for some information from someone else before she could leave so it led to a little bit of an awkward situation.
So much about this has bothered me for the last week. What bothers me the most is that I put a “to do list” above a person. I care so much more for the people in my life, especially those that I am close to, than I do about having a clean house or dishes washed. Yet, in this instance I didn’t show that. I let things to do become more important to me than a person to be loved.
For awhile now I have been almost constantly overwhelmed by all there is on my plate. The daily house chores, raising kids, a church calling, being a wife, etc. All things that are good or necessary but all take time.
In reality my life is less busy than many other women. I don’t work or do much volunteering. I don’t have a new baby and all the demands that come with them. While my church calling takes time, there are definitely more time consuming callings. In realizing this it has helped me to see that there are changes I can make, things that I can do better to help things run smoother at home.
Whenever stuff like this comes up I always think that I need to just simplify my life. I hear that from blogs and books and it sounds so easy but then I try to implement it and realize that I don’t exactly know how to simplify. Sure you get rid of stuff because if you have less stuff than it’s less to worry about but sometimes getting rid of stuff isn’t an option.
I learned a little bit about this while reading Daring Greatly by Brene Brown. She talks about how we approach the things that cause us stress or anxiety. Do we just try to tackle it after it’s there and always be reacting or do we take action and try to cut it off or limit it? The example she gives in the book is the way two different people handle their email. One women has a set time where she just dives into her email and tries to get it all taken care of but it usually takes her longer than she plans for. Then there is a man who is proactive and tells people upfront to only email him if it’s important. He takes other steps to limit the amount of emails that he gets so that he doesn’t have to spend a lot of his time on emailing.
I think this is another way of simplifying, finding ways to do something different so that we get a better result. I have so much work to do in this area, so much simplifying that needs to be done. This is going to be my focus for the next few months, simplifying my life. It will take some time and will be a learning experience for me. I tend to be one who reacts to life instead of acting but I hope to share some of what I learn here so that others can benefit as well. Maybe we can all simplify together.