What do you do when life gets to be too much? You know what I mean. You’re tired. You’re frazzled, and it feels like your to-do list is growing faster than you can read it.
The Struggle Is Real
For me, the biggest culprit this year has been school. I was in my first year of grad school, cramming in as many credits and extra opportunities as I could. Adulting is a joy on its own as I attempt to keep track of my budget, groceries, laundry, and apartment. Of course, I’m trying to make sure my husband always comes before all of that. Thankfully, he has chipped in so much this semester with dishes, laundry, and house cleaning. I couldn’t have done it without him.
While I’m busy with school and life “stuff,” I am also involved with the college ministry, nursery ministry, and choir ministry at my church. Although I love it all, that does take more of my time. Plus, I have to pay that school bill, so I work 30 hours a week on top of it all. Now add in rehearsals for the four choirs that I was in this semester, attempts to have time with friends, and occasionally sleeping, and BAM! I’m one exhausted chick. Don’t you feel tired just reading this?
We’re All There
The thing is, I’m not special. We’re all there. I know so many working mamas with kids to love, groceries to buy, houses to clean, and lives to live. I know so many friends trying to balance school, friends, work, church, and community outreach. No matter what stage of life we’re in, we keeping hoping the next stage is a little bit easier, a little bit slower.
I got to the point this semester where something had to give. No matter how much I kept praying for strength and organizing my life, there was still too much on my plate. I had to cut something. And you know what? That’s exactly what I did.
Actually, I cut multiple things. I cut cleaning my house for a while and let things be a little less perfect. We ate quite a few rotisserie chickens and left over meals. We survived. As a friend of mine recently put it, “this isn’t my phase of life to have a perfectly clean house.”
As much as I enjoy blogging, it took a back seat. Friends came up to me asking when I would write again. My answer was simply, “When I have time.” One of my friends commented that he hadn’t seen a new post in a while. I apologized for being too busy, and his response was, “You don’t owe anybody a blog post.” What a good reminder to hear amidst my guilty feelings about not writing and not continuing what I started.
It’s Okay to Cut Things Out Sometimes
I’m a firm believer that it’s okay to cut things out sometimes. No, I didn’t want to cut out relationships with people or ministries at church, but little things had to go for a bit. If cutting out having a perfectly organized apartment or cooking a nice meal every night meant that I could rest more, be sweeter to my husband, and see a friend for coffee, it was worth it.
Now that it’s summer, I have a little more time on my hands for blogging, cooking, and catching up on making my apartment nice and clean. I’m “back” for a while.
One of the wisest people in my life, my mother, once told me, “You can do anything temporarily.” So true! Maybe you’re trying to save up extra money or get out of debt. You can live on a tight budget temporarily. Maybe you’re overwhelmed with all that is on your plate. You can cut little things out temporarily. Maybe you’re trying to work a lot and make it through school. You can struggle and be tired temporarily.
Sometimes though, I think we burden ourselves unnecessarily. We get preoccupied with so many things that don’t matter. Culture tells us that we must have the perfect body, perfect clothing, perfect home, and perfect family. We stress out over silly things instead of focusing on growing in our relationship with Christ and with others. We suffer from self-induced stress, headaches, fatigue, and crabbiness because we refuse to slow down.
I know it’s hard. We feel like we walk a fine line between being slothful and being a workaholic. Much in the same way that we cycle through healthy eating habits and binge-eating junk food, we swing back and forth between over-working and lazily lying around, glued to our phones and our Netflix. What happened to balance?
I don’t know all the answers, but I have figured out this semester that it’s not failure to let a few things go when you need to focus on more important things. It’s never failure to prioritize people over stuff. “People are more important that the things you have to do.”
Don’t get me wrong, I am all about living “like nobody else does now so that you can live like nobody else does later.” I think hard work and pushing yourself is important. But, I can’t help but wonder if our culture would have less mental illness, stress-induced health problems, and relationship struggles if we slowed down and spent some quality time on what’s important.
Anyhow, I’m back for now. I’m happy to be back blogging and catching up with my sweet readers. I’d love to hear your thoughts about how you slow down and cope with all the craziness in your life!