Happy 2022, guys! I just looked back and realized that my last post was over a month ago and at one time, that would have driven me crazy. I used to strive for strict consistency in many facets of my life, and while consistency is still something that I thrive on, I’m learning to be able to let some balls drop when needed. After living through a period of major shutdowns, it seemed as though many of us were ready to jump back into life….and for the most part, we have. But I also look back at the simplicity and lack of pressure during that time and wonder how I can blend that with the chaos of life moving forward?
Along these same lines, I’ve had discussions with a handful of people who have shared with me that ‘you seem to manage your time well, how do you do it?‘ Well, my response is that I do not in fact feel like I manage time all that well. I’m sure many of you can relate to this feeling. The feeling of having too many balls to juggle and not knowing how to prioritize them well. I can’t count the number of things that compete for attention throughout our days; emails, texts, phone calls, school, work, projects, bible time, books, social media, kids, spouses, appointments, sports, kids activities, volunteer opportunities, prayer time, food prep, grocery shopping, cleaning, laundry…..to name a few, lol. Some days it can get the best of me. That overwhelming feeling rushes over me and then my husband and kids get the not so lovely side of me. It can be downright ugly.
Do I have this all figured out and a quick, painless, streamlined answer for you? Nope, I’m sorry. But I can share some tools I utilize to help keep myself in check. It’s a progress over perfection motto, because I fail time and again, but all I (we) can do is, get back up and move forward, one imperfect step at a time. One thing that I have learned is to let go of tasks that can wait. As I mentioned, this is the first post I’ve shared in a month, but I’m the only one putting that pressure on myself. What was more important over the past month than prepping a blog post, was spending time with my family….cooking, baking, snuggling and watching movies together, visiting with our family and playing games. Adding a self-induced timeline was only adding a stress that didn’t need to exist. On the flip side, there are certainly more time-pressing matters we all need to respond to. Lists are my best friend. I have been keeping more detailed lists lately than I typically do, and they have been more helpful than I can tell you. I keep lists for everything and I write down even the smallest task like ‘text back so-and-so’ or ‘schedule this appointment’. Although it may not be urgent, something simple like that can easily slip my mind if I don’t jot it down. I keep a running tab of appointments that need made, things that need ordered, groceries that need to be shopped for. I find my mind can breath if I move a task from my head to ‘paper’. Then as I’m able, I’ll check those tasks off and feel like I’m making some forward progress.
When it comes to things I strive to get into my daily routine, this is where consistency is key for me. From things as simple as using a water bottle to track my water intake, to setting aside time first thing in the morning for my bible and a workout. Those tend to be my foundation for a good day. I feel set up for success, regardless of how much I tackle after that. Oh, I should add for myself at least, make your bed! That is number one, everyday. If I know my bed isn’t made, my brain refuses to function! If it’s helpful, find a friend that will help keep you accountable for the non-negotiables in your life…those tough love friends are invaluable.
That felt like a lot to unload, but for whatever reason, I felt led to share. I think it bottles down to, don’t sweat the small stuff. Life is full of pressures and sometimes some things need to give a little. And that’s ok. Life is hard and wonderful, and you’re doing an amazing job. Maybe we all commit to showing more grace this year, to ourselves and everyone around us. Here’s to a great 2022 and all it may bring!