Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Present over Perfect: More Baby Steps

Okay, y’all, I know I mentioned Shauna’s book, Present over Perfect, in last week’s #MarriageMonday post, but I’ve finished the book and want to share a few more small victories I’ve had. :) 

I’ve given my hearty recommendation for this book in lots of other posts (here and here and here). This book is a game-changer if you’re any range on the Type A scale or if you’ve ever felt any of the following:

I want to stay home tonight, but I have to do/go/be/make/lead/clean up/set up for X event.
I am too tired to be tired.
If I don’t do it, then…..
If only I had time to do….

I could keep going, but, well, you get the idea. She calls it gluttony, the addiction we have to being on the go, always moving, always striving, always adding more, more, more to our plate.

Then we begrudge the life we’re living (though we’d never admit this) because we don’t have time, or we’re exhausted, or we have another dream in our heart, or _________ (fill in the blank).

As someone who is always the responsible person, always the go-to girl, I have identified with Shauna’s words in ways I can’t even describe. I feel like she is writing about me for much of her book—minus the musician husband, the two kids, and the being a famous author with a full speaking schedule, of course. :) 

But seriously. My whole adult life has been about working hard, striving for that next level of accomplishment, that next thing to get to.

I’m in my early 30s, and I somehow know that if I don’t get this right, if I don’t learn how to say no and slow down and find the balance—the real balance—between work and home, then I’ll be worn out for the next 30 or 40 years. I’ll resent my work and what I do, and I’ll have no one to blame but myself.

This book could not be more timely for me.

So, a few weeks ago, I told you about my first baby steps—turning off my email notifications. Between 8:00 and 5:00 Monday to Friday, I am glued to a computer and email and phone calls and decisions and fires to be put out, but when I go home, it all turns off.

I take my full lunch. I’ll admit there are still some days where meetings stack up, and I’m not getting a lunch break, but for the most part, I am taking a full hour every day to DISCONNECT and RECHARGE.

And I’m writing. I’m doing that thing that fuels my soul, the longing in my heart that isn’t satisfied until I go to that imaginative alter-reality and start clicking away on my keyboard.

Today I’m happy to share some more milestones. A couple weeks ago I said no to something that I felt obligated to say yes to, and I said yes to two things that were out of my “I must be responsible” character.

Y’all, it felt so good.

I am in control of me. And although I can’t necessarily control what walks through my office door or what pops up in an email or what comes through my phone, I do get to be in control of my time—how I choose to spend it.

I choose to spend the hours at work being present—doing the best job that I can do, being intentional with every person I come in contact with, asking the Lord for help—all. the. time.

And I choose when to say work ends—and now my home life begins. This is my time with Howell. This is my time for us, for our family, for our friends.

How about you, friends? How are you managing your time? What can you say no to today? Any advice for a recovering busy-aholic?

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