Mission check-In: Lighten My Life

So many nights, I sit by my window… [Insert record scratching noise here.]

I am forbidden to sing that song at home. David can’t stand it, and I can sing it perfectly. Every. Single. Word. (and nuance, and overemotive phrase.) Thank you, Debby Boone.

I didn’t actually name this category after the most successful single of the 70’s. Today’s theme – “Lighten My Life” – is time management, and how I choose to spend my time is – quite literally – how I choose to spend my life.

Once upon a time, a long time ago – cough *1988* cough –  I tried to write a personal mission statement. I had just graduated from college, and I was desperately trying to set a course for my life since it seemed that I would not automatically get a job as a DJ on a large-market alternative radio station, no matter how vast my knowledge or personal record collection. I finally came up with something that resounded with me:

Choose well what I do, and do well what I choose.

It was a bit cumbersome, and I certainly didn’t live by it successfully, but it came back to me when I was trying to decide what I wanted in life today.

Making healthy, realistic choices is a challenge for me. I want change and improvement and success and I want it now, but that is the formula for overwhelm and burnout. (Ask me how I know this.) My M.O. has always been this: find a new scheme, research the heck out of it, plunge into it without adequate preparation, succeed wildly for a short time, preach about it to everyone, fail miserably, and start looking for a new scheme. Lather, rinse, repeat. All my friends are trying not to smile or laugh because they don’t want to hurt my feelings, but they have seen it over and over again.

I need to listen to FlyLady and What About Bob? Baby steps. I need to make changes gradually so that the change is real, and I need to make choices realistically so that I don’t set myself up for failure.

Then comes the true time management challenge: to use my time well.

First, I need to be sure that I am not wasting my time on things that are not important. David is good at reminding me, “Is this what you want to be doing right now?” I am easily distracted towards things that are shiny – or away from things that are scary – so refocusing is key. Second, I need to recognize and acknowledge what is and is not a waste of time. Getting together with friends, even if I haven’t finished devising a system for filing away the paid bills, is not a waste of time. Reading for pleasure and relaxation is not a waste of time. Reading as escapism – because Mr. Darcy is vastly more compelling than doing paperwork – is the biggest waste of time there is. For me.

The last thing I need to remember is that I am trying to LIGHTEN my life. I need to take things out of my schedule, get rid of all the things I think I should be doing, and just do what is essential. Cut down on new schemes, cut down on volunteer opportunities, cut down on joining home party businesses. (My friends are laughing again.)

I also need to remember to tell Q that the songs he learned by heart when he was 11 will be with him forever.

Daily Check-In:

I’m grateful! for this time in Croatia. It has been so good for my body to rest and relax, and so good for my heart to be with David and Quinland.

3 thoughts on “Mission check-In: Lighten My Life

  1. Yay! Back reading the blogs 🙂 ~ I so relate to this dive in and burn out.

    I had not worked out AT ALL for six weeks. So yesterday, did I ease back into exercise with 45 minutes walking on the treadmill or going for a jog-walk in the neighborhood? Of course not. I did the treadmill and a one-hour Hot Hula (psycho) class at the gym ~ where, because we are us, I had to do all the moves and be great at the routine even though I had no idea what Hot Hula was or how hard it would be ~ and today I am in so much pain that I can’t picture walking to the kitchen for coffee, let alone ever working out again!

    We are always in too much of a hurry: to get places, achieve things, volunteer, or make “permanent” changes. So I LOVE THIS POST. I have gained six pounds, and instead of rationally realizing I cannot lose them all in a week, I’ve started off on overload, and normally would eat poptarts :-). But your post reminds me that I can rest a day and tackle it again in a more wise fashion tomorrow.

    I am so glad you are learning to take life slower and enjoy it in Croatia!


    1. Hot Hula! I am impressed and also laughing. I think it is telling that your example of easing into exercise was a 45-minute jaunt on the treadmill. Dude, that is not taking baby steps! Is it genetic that when we do overwhelm ourselves that we want to eat sugary carbohydrate treats? Because I can so relate to that…


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