No matter how much we try, we can’t get everything done. And that’s okay.
I hate to say it, because I hate when people say it, but I’m so busy. That’s not to minimize your packed schedule. I know you are too. Holiday prep is still in full force at our house. School activities seem to be ever multiplying. Not to mention (though I guess I’m going to mention it anyway) the fact that everyone is sick right now.
I get sick about once a year. When I do, it’s usually not all that bad. Maybe I tend to ignore it, hoping it will just go away without any major incidents. Last week was a different story. I had a fever. My whole body hurt. I called The Man and asked him to come home and help with The Kids. The last time I was too sick to care for a child was the day The Girl was born. I got the stomach bug, which eventually put me into labor, but I couldn’t take care of The Boy. Otherwise, I get sick, rest for a day, and I’m over it.
When Amy Christian suggested that I take a day off and not write a column last week, I immediately thought, “No, no. I can do this.” I knew it would be rough, but I didn’t want to skip it altogether. I felt bad about it even. Once I listened to reason (and her insistence), I said, ”Thank you,” and went back to bed. Don’t think there weren’t still moments that day when I considered doing it anyway. Those moments could’ve been prompted by the fever-induced nightmare where Joe White laughs maniacally while rubbing his hands together and announces, “We finally got rid of her!”
The truth is, we just can’t do it all. Sometimes we have to say no. Not my strong suit.
Anytime I go to a meeting, I have to practically sit on my hands and chant “don’t say yes don’t say yes don’t say yes,” or I will say yes. I truly enjoy most everything I agree to do, but there isn’t enough time to get it all done. I don’t take on nearly as much as some of you, though. There aren’t any Pinterest inspired dinners, homemade Halloween costumes or dinner rolls from scratch in our house.
Like you, I wonder if I’m not doing enough with my kids, either in their classrooms or at home. Do my husband and I need a vacation? So and So and Such and Such just got back from one, and they seem so happy. I see that girl always doing kind things for others, volunteering for this organization, or chairing the gala for that club. That family made all of their Christmas gifts this year. How organic.
All of this worry is unnecessary, but maybe I’m afraid appearing inadequate. Steven Furtick (who is apparently a minister in Charlotte), sums it up: “The reason we struggle with insecurity is because we compare our behind-the-scenes with everyone else’s highlight reel.”
Wow. Guilty. As. Charged.
Because of Facebook, life is nothing but a big fat in-your-face highlight reel. Listen up at the next Christmas party. The highlights include vacations, children’s accomplishments, job promotions and new houses. We don’t mention the little, possibly boring, stuff that happens every day. We do homework and the dishes, piles of leaves are raked and put at the street, and floors are vacuumed. Bo-ring. The highlights stand out, which is clearly why we brag about them.
Instead of focusing on the things I can’t get done, I try to really enjoy the things I can. Christmas gives me a good chance to think about it. So many people are stressed about gift buying and “getting it all done” in time.
I ask you this: What if it didn’t all get done this year? Does just thinking about it stress you out? There will be things that don’t get done.
A few years ago, we stopped saying yes to every holiday party. We limited the monetary size of Christmas in our house. I refuse to be stressed. If I’m that overwhelmed, I must be missing the point.
We can’t do it all. We won’t get everything done. My highlight reel may not look as fancy as yours, but I like what’s behind the scenes, too. Getting bogged down is exactly why we miss those scenes. Time to recover from an illness, a chance to watch A Charlie Brown Christmas or time to clean out my filthy car (and LORD, is it filthy).
Say no. Spend less. Go behind the scenes. Don’t stay back there forever, though. I happen to enjoy your highlights. Plus, I need help. I can only sit on my hands for so long. You Might Also Like: