Well, we’ve talked about plate spinning and now we’re talking juggling.
(And no, I do not have a fascination with circus performers!)
While I speak and write on time management, I certainly am not immune to awful tendency we women have to take on too many responsibilities at the expense of our relationships.
In fact, I have noticed a pattern with me. About every three years, I get to my “breaking point”; that place where my plate is so full of outside commitments that God and my family are beginning to get mostly my leftovers.
The problem is this: We women are sooooooo good at multi-tasking and “job-doing” that when presented with another outside responsibility, we glance at our already too-full plates. Then, instead of saying “no” to the new task to do or hat to wear, or removing something from our plate before saying “yes” to the job, we surmise that if we just re-arrange everything, somehow we can make it all fit!!
A plate so full not even the strongest product Chinette cranks out can hold it all!
Perhaps you, like me, are beginning to buckle under the weight of your too-full plate. You feel rushed. You fear forgetting appointments and responsibilities. You have zero “me ” time–not in a selfish “I must go to the salon, the tanner, a movie and on a 1/2 day shopping spree weekly or I’ll simply die” kind of way.
I mean time to relax. Re-coop. Refresh. Renew. Re-focus. Re-define. Re-direct. Rejuvenate.
I’ve got it! Let’s call it “Re” time instead of the traditional “Me” time.
So….where do we begin? How can we scrape our plates and start all over?
Well, here is what I am doing this week.
Since I like visual images that help me understand a concept, I’m getting out a piece of poster board. On it, I’m drawing several circles of various sizes; some large, several medium and others small.
Then, on a separate sheet of paper, I’m writing down all of my responsibilities, relationships and activities. My list looks a little like this:
- Relationship with God ( I DO NOT mean church roles or church attendance. They are important but in and of themselves do not prove a relationship with God.)
- My husband Todd
- My daughter who lives in North Carolina (I am in Michigan)
- My 15 year old son Mitch
- My 12 year old son Spence
- My life group at church (a geographical small group of blended ages and walks of life that “do life” together, meeting weekly)
- My home-making (groceries, cooking, cleaning, etc…)
- My ministry duties at Proverbs 31 (speaking, writing devos, coaching speakers)
- My extended relatives; some nearby; some far away
- My responsibilities in my local church (mainly writing the sermon series take-home study guides with my pastor)
- My kids’ school responsibilities at their homeschool co-op (I teach Speech & Creative Writing to 48 jr & sr highers!! YIKES!! But hey, that means someone else teaches them their other subjects. YAY!!!)
- My website
- My Facebook friends (actually three circles there–friends I personally know, friends from the past and friends I’ve never even met face-to-face)
- My neighbors
- My “me” …..um..er…….”Re” time
You get the picture….
Then, once my list is finished, I am going to go to that poster board and write the various items from the list in the appropriate sized circles according to the time/energy and devotion I give them. Not what I wish were true, but what is the reality of my life now. (I may need to draw more circles)
What do I see?
Am I letting smaller priorities take more of my time? (Big circles)
Do I squeeze God in a small circle when He should get the biggest one?
Do I simply have too many stinkin’ circles to begin with?
Then, I am getting gut-wrenchingly honest with myself (and I hope you will too)
WHY, WHEN I HATE LIVING LIKE THIS, DO I LET IT HAPPEN?????
I know my answer.
If you too have this problem, what is yours?
I’ll be back Friday with my answer, more discussion and also a giveaway centered on this subject. In the mean time, please share any thoughts about all of this.
I’d love to hear from you!