One of the things I have really been challenged with recently is something that I feel is all to common among my friends, co-workers, and most people I run into. It is an idea that has been engrained into our culture and has really dictated our way of life over the past decade or so, but for me it has become all to real in the past few months.
What I am talking about is us becoming so busy in life, looking towards the next event or activity too much, and filling up our agenda with so much that we miss the moment all too often.
For me, I just started to realize this when I sat down at a table about 2 months ago. I had been working with a team for over 6 months to plan and conduct our third WinShape Camps International Project – It was the day before our team left to go to Brazil and we were having our last leader-huddle to make sure things we in-line. When we started talking and thinking about what all was about to happen in the next 48 hours, I found myself realizing that I had not even really processed the idea that we were taking a team to Brazil within the next day. To be really honest, I was not excited at that moment, no real joy came from the idea that we were doing something that I love so much –this really bothered me.
It was not that I was not aware of the fact we were going to Brazil nor was it that I do not love Brazil – the people, the culture, and our involvement there – but it was that I had just lived through a series of months where my calendar had become so full, my agendas had become too long, and my life had become too busy. I had become so busy with everything that I came close to ‘missing’ one of the greatest moments I have each year.
I believe that we can get a lot done when we fill up our days, weeks, and months – but I am also keenly aware that we can get so busy that we miss out on life, miss the moments that will bring us joy, and miss the relationships that bring satisfaction.
For me it was missing out on the moment of Brazil – to be excited about the trip, the possibilities in the country, the opportunity to impact lives, and the fun of taking 30 college students overseas. Finally in our huddle, I was able to stop enough to realize what was going on around me and to not miss a moment of it. Through this I have learned a few things that I have tried to practice since:
- Try to stop and reflect every once in a while on what is going on in life – I think it is amazing what we can miss out on because we are not processing and thinking through the events, relationship, and life going on around us.
- Spend some intentional time during the week with friends and family – I have really tried to take a day off here and there during the week to help me control the busyness in life. It is not always easy to do this, but I am continually reminded that the “to-do list” will always be there, whether you move away from it for a day or not.
- Say no when you can – This is the hardest one for me, but it is okay to say no to meetings, events, and activities which you do not need to be a part of. It is a hard thing to learn to do, but it can be one of the more powerful things you can learn in helping control your agenda.
The good news is before I left for Brazil, I was able to see the opportunity, process the moment, and get really excited about what was to come. Also being disconnected from life in Brazil helped me reflect for over a week and spend some great time reenergizing for what is to come.
But in the end, that meeting was an ah-ha moment for me. Life is too short for us to miss the moments that we will enjoy most. Soak in the moments, enjoy the opportunity, and stop long enough to do so.
How do you help keep your schedule and life under control?Continue Reading: My mother-in-law also wrote a great post along these lines that you can read here, at CathyFamily.com