The SIFTED | Schedule
Luxury is feeling unrushed. It is designing a life that allows you to do what you want with high leverage, with many options, all while feeling unrushed.
- Tim Ferriss
I know we talked about breaking up with our things (full post here), but sometimes it's even more valuable to give yourself permission to break up with your schedule.
I used to be the Queen of Yes. Dependable. Willing. Helpful. Truth is, I just didn't want to disappoint. And then I burnt out. And not only myself, but my Mister, too. The inevitable stress of obligation, the lack of time for self-care, the over-committed calendar that wouldn't allow me to do the things I really wanted to do...it made us feel empty and disengaged instead of full of life.
I'm not saying you shouldn't do anything you don't want to do. It's healthy to step out of your comfort zone - and outside of yourself to help others. But there's a fine balance of what's enough for you and your family and that takes some honesty and reflection.
Maybe having your kids in a bajillion sports means no time for dinner around the table as a family. Maybe that extra ministry you help with means you're stretched thin and take it out on those you love. Maybe your obsession with binge-watching Netflix leaves you with no time for doing what's really important in life. (Side note: the average American watches THIRTY FOUR HOURS of television PER WEEK. !!!!! Full post on breaking up with TV to come.)
What can be even harder to accept is that we're not the only ones who need breathing room - our kids need it, too. They need time to be kids. They are wired for play and pretend, and they can't do that if they're not given the chance. They also need to see your face. They need to hear your voice. They need to see the way you do life. They don't just need quality time; they need quantity time. And they can't do that if they never get to spend time with you because they - and you - are in every activity under the sun.
Athletics and extra-curriculars are good and healthy, but take a step back and become a student of your child. Are they stressed? Anxious? Acting out? Not coping with little things? Start to pay attention.
Then take it a step further. If they are in multiple activities, ask yourself some questions. Is it for them or me? Are they in too much? Do they need more down time to play at home and relax? Are they in sports because everyone else is? Am I afraid of being perceived as depriving them of invaluable experiences? Do I secretly hope and expect that they are a prodigy and will earn a full-ride someday? Is our family life suffering from the lack of time to spend together? Does something need to give?
And ask these questions not just for your kids, but for yourself, too. You need rest. You need self-care. You need downtime with family and friends. What needs to give?
Whatever it is, put a finger on it. Start small. Pick one - one thing to say no to. Give yourself and your family some breathing room to just be. I remember my husband pleading with me on multiple occasions to please stop booking up our weekends. Give us some time to be home. To garden. To play. To drink coffee. To not feel rushed. Just let us guard some of that time for ourselves instead of giving it to the hundredth birthday party/grocery run/photoshoot.
What would you do with a night back? A weekend free?
Build a margin in your life to do what you love and clear out your calendar. Go ahead - give yourself permission to say no. Because by saying no to something means you're saying yes to what's really important.