In the morning, over that first cup of coffee, wonderful ideas for my day start to flood into my mind. Does this happen to you? Sometimes, it’s starts as a slow trickle. Sometimes, it’s a crazy tsunami. And then before my feet even hit the floor (because that first cup is always in bed), I am overwhelmed with the sheer volume of things to do.
What I have had to tell myself is, “Calm the heck down.” It all doesn’t have to happen in one day. I often think if I can see to do it, I should get doing it right away. What I’m learning is that I can make a plan to do it first. It doesn’t have to happen immediately. This is probably a no-brainer for you, but this has been a recent life-saver for me.
My usual strategy looked a little like this: Get a good idea. Hit the ground running. Make everything happen as quickly as possible, putting all normal things like eating, cleaning, and shopping aside. It sounds so crazy, but, honestly, I didn’t realize I was doing this to myself. I knew that I often found myself overwhelmed and drained of hope for that good idea, but I didn’t realize I was working in an emergency mode.
My mantra for this year has been, “Only emergencies get to be emergencies.” That means that unless it is a real emergency, we do not have to put the rest of our life on hold. It has also meant that we have had to decide what we want our lives to be about: where we want to give our time and resources. And it has meant saying, “No.” I didn’t know that sometimes saying yes to a good thing would unnecessarily send us into that emergency mode. We would have to rush out the door, after just arriving at home. Hit a drive-thru to get dinner. Do a load of laundry at midnight so that we would have clean clothes for the next day. Have you been there?
This is one of the quickest ways I kill hope. It is very hard to hear the whisper of hope, when you are shouting demands at yourself in your head. It is even harder to relish in that hope, allowing it to fuel you in the very thing you are trying to do.
This is day sixteen of a thirty-one day series, you can find the other posts here.