I was reminded of this funny (at least it’s funny now) experience the other day as I found myself once again, rushing through my day at the speed of light.
Last spring, like most springs, was a very busy one for me. I was hurrying to get many things done in a short amount of time—my Women in Ministry newsletter, preparations for our annual Ladies’ Luncheon, class work, small group studies, individual appointments—all while driving my children all over the county to their many extracurricular activities.
I felt particularly pressured to mail my newsletter. It was, after all, filled with very important information that the ladies needed. So I printed out all the mailing labels, affixed them to the envelopes, and even “found” a few minutes in my day to drive them to the post office and send them on their way. I did it! I mailed the newsletters and could now move on to my next task. Boy, was I proud of myself!
I returned home later, checked on a few things and was ready to begin my next task, which was…picking up the newsletters from church that had been printed and were waiting to be stuffed in envelopes and mailed.
Wait a minute—did I just say newsletters? I did! “Oh no!” I yelled to no one in particular. “I just mailed 36 empty envelopes!” In my haste to “get it done” and move on to the next task, I forgot to put the newsletters in the 36 envelopes that I had just mailed!
Besides the fact that 36 people were going to receive an empty envelope from me and think I’d lost my mind, I now had to print the mailing labels again, affix them to 36 more envelopes, put the newsletters in the envelopes, and go to the post office—again.
So instead of getting things done quickly, I just created a lot more work for myself. So much for being proud of myself…
There is a lesson in here, though, and one I was only too happy to learn after this episode: Slow down and enjoy each moment.
Yes, indeed. I needed to stop and smell the roses, as they say. To slow down instead of barreling through my days like an out of control car on a slick highway, and savor each moment, no matter how insignificant it might seem.
I had allowed my life to become a blur, with tasks and activities and appointments whirring by me so fast I couldn’t see them clearly. It was time to make a change.
The truth is, I don’t like living like that. Running from place to place, task to task, activity to activity. I began to look at my calendar and reprioritize all that was on it. I made sure those things that were on it lined up with those things I valued. I made some difficult choices, weeded some things out and began to enjoy the fruit of my labor.
As time went on, though, I took on more and more without giving up other things to make room for them. Little by little, I allowed my bad habits to surface once again and my schedule became terribly overcrowded. Even though many of them were things I enjoyed, it was just too much all at once.
So just this month, I found myself in a similar place: feeling stressed from the busyness of life and not enjoying my days.
Sounds like it’s time for me to take out my calendar again and make some important decisions about my time and energy and how I’d like to invest it. I realize I cannot do all things and can certainly not do all things with excellence. In fact, if I’m really honest with myself, I can only do those things excellently that the Lord would have me to do.
This week I’ll be spending some quiet time with God and my calendar, deciding how much is enough and making sure I don’t overdo it. Summer is coming and I want to enjoy the time with my children and husband. My oldest is going into high school in September. I can’t believe it! I want to enjoy my children while they still enjoy spending time with me!
What about you? Are you running through each day as if your life is a blur? Are you wishing you had the time to enjoy the moments each day is made of? Is it time to put the brakes on and take an inventory of all you’re doing?
I encourage you to take time today to revisit your calendar and To Do List and to align what is on them with what is in your heart. Say no to some things. Invest your time and energy in those things that matter most to you. Savor each moment of each day, the good ones and the not so good ones, also. They’ll be gone before you know it.
Stop running through life as if it’s a blur. Stop and smell the roses. Have a cup of coffee with a friend, build a sand castle with your child, read that book you’ve wanted to read. Whatever you do, choose to do it with excellence while enjoying the moments it is made up of. You’ll be glad you did.