I bit off more than I could chew and it’s been weighing on my mind for a couple weeks now.
When I calculated how much time I had at the beginning of the semester – there was an ample amount of time to study and balance work. I only needed about 35 hours total – and there are 168 in the week.
I immediately, of course, threw out the 56, give or take, I spend sleeping, and all the time I spend with E pouring water on the floor, watching buses, fighting to get the coat on, and all the other activities of daily living. I’m smart about that stuff – I know I can’t read textbook chapters and eat oatmeal with a toddler on my lap (or can I?)
That brought me down to about 42 hours of time per week. See! Look! I’d planned for 7 hours of wiggle room no less!
Haha. Wiggle room.
Like always – I glossed over the fact that life changes. That I would have new ideas about the best way to live – and those ideas might involve amounts of internet and book research which also has nothing to do with class – and wouldn’t fit into those left over 7 hours.
I didn’t budget in for feeling overwhelmed and sitting on the couch watching Modern Family, and Once Upon a Time over and over. I didn’t plan for buying new furniture, or non-routine shopping trips. I didn’t plan for just not wanting to work some nights – or not being able to figure out what needed to get done the first time around. I didn’t plan for planning, or questioning my decisions.
Who can plan for that stuff?
Real life takes up time – and even though people say it can be organized – (Even though I’m trying to be organized – and there are purportedly more tools than ever via apps, the internet, and experts – I get the feeling that’s not really helping anyone – it’s just kind of putting off disaster a little further.)
One Problem? These tools aren’t doing what needs to be done – they won’t tell you a single thing about your Priorities.
These tools are trying to tell us we can have it all, if we can just pull together by trying another solution, or working harder, or just smarter.
It doesn’t work like that. You have to say ‘No’ to some things – and you have Say ‘Yes’ to the Right things.
You have to do your best, forget the rest – and then not try to fit “the rest” in later in the day.
No tool in a magazine, on the internet, in a book, or in a day planner will tell you about your priorities.
You will need to figure out your priorities on your own.
Truth be told, you should probably get help from others too. Cause if you, and all your little wants, and all your impulses are priority one – you did it wrong.
None of those other tools, the books, planners, and resolutions, will help you when the going gets tough. For that – you need grace – not another “to do” list.
I’ve been clinging tight to the words of advice from Proverbs 6:6 that Donald Miller reminded me of and simply trying to do one thing at a time lately – and those things that have a lasting impact. The right things.
Go to the ant, thou sluggard, consider her ways and be wise.
For more of my thoughts on Priorities and Values : Check out my post “This I Believe.”