I’ll be honest with you. Today, I woke up tired, and I think I know why. Typically, I don’t, so I have to ask what is going on in my life that is out of sync. So, indulge me a little today while I try to figure out what might be contributing to not waking up ready to take on the day.
In the course of one day, most of us have to decide what to wear from a closet filled with options, some decide whether to eat breakfast or exercise, when to have our quiet time, what to eat, perhaps what transportation we are taking, whether we’ll drive or take the bus, how we will be spending our day, how we like our coffee or tea, not just cream or sugar, but lattes or cappuccinos, flavor of the day or exotic blends, and on and on.
Right now, (and for the last two years), we have been building a house. Each week, there are many choices to make, how wide the shower door should be, what the seat in the shower should look like, what colors of paint, interior and exterior, whether to wallpaper, the design of the ceiling beams in the main room, what the landscaping will look like, and how to keep the area as safe and maintenance free as possible, etc. The list is endless, and frankly, I just am ready to relax in it, and call it a day. It will be so nice, and we are so fortunate to be able to be doing it, but I have to admit that it has caused more than one argument with my husband due to the stress of making all these decisions.
Living in a large city, we also fell into the trap of giving our children too many choices. When our kids were young, we fought the wild ride of three kids with multiple activities, but finally asked each of them to choose one physical sport and one creative activity to take lessons. It still meant six lessons or practices and multiple games each week, but believe it or not, they were less busy than their friends. Often, kids today are so busy with all their activities, they hardly have time for imaginative play by themselves.
It’s what one friend calls p.o.p. (the problems of the privileged) and most of middle America falls into this category. We are bombarded with choices and the stress of it all is killing us. Many of us long for a simpler life. There are several things we can do about this to help relieve some of the stresses of too many choices.
1. Automate as many activities as you can. A routine can limit the stress and simplify choices.
2. Prioritize the things that are important to you. Start with your values, and make sure your actions are in line with them. Eliminate those activities that do not conform with your values or contribute to the development of them.
3. Turn off your cell phone as often as possible. Unless it is urgent, take calls and return messages at specific times in the day. Email when you can to eliminate long conversations when you just need to get a short message to someone.
4. De-clutter your life wherever possible. Check out FlyLady’s ideas for a simple routine and system to simplify your life with the ordinary tasks of living.
5. Ask yourself Dr. Phil’s question, “Is that working for you?” If it’s not, revamp the plan or toss it.
6. Take some time out every day for you. Whether it’s a bubble bath and a book, or a cup of afternoon tea, relax and smell the roses at least once each day.
7. Talk to God through your day and ask Him to show you where you should be. Your load will be lighter, as promised in Matthew 11:28-30:
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
I will see you tomorrow. Until then, rest in Him.
Footnote: I was having a hard time picking out a song or a picture to go with this post, so I opted for none today. Yes. My first victory in choosing not to choose!