Making choices

That’s it! I have finally had it with my schedule.  Today I went to a morning spiritual group meeting where I hadn’t had enough time beforehand to prepare and do the reading and so I didn’t get from it what I could have.  From there I had to rush to a sisterhood board meeting, squeezing in time beforehand to make sure I had enough copies of my agenda, minutes, budget, fliers for programs, and anything else we’d be discussing.  After that, I ran home to send out a reminder for a program happening later in the week, let in a landscaper and handyman, and had a quick bite to eat.  Then I picked up SG early to head to a Passover program at a retirement home that I was coordinating.  Finally, home again to help with homework and let in the babysitter before I returned to temple for our evening program on home renovation tips.  Did I have time to relax and catch up on anything? Nope.  Did I get to the store, pick up those library books, fit in that trip to the bank, etc? Alas, no. Did I end the day with a new, long to-do list? Yes. And I’d missed email exchanges on other projects and programs, and on and on.

Most of you see a consistent theme here with me: I am running all over the place in my commitments, not able to catch up or breathe, and still not able to fit in art time.  I’m not meeting friends for lunch.  I’m barely pausing long enough to appreciate where I am! I’m collapsing into bed soon after putting SG to bed, not getting time to reflect on the day or have some quiet time.

So what do I need to do to slow down the crazy train? What hard choices can I make to still get all the good feelings from the volunteer work and shape my days to be more purposeful and satisfying?

I have been tracking my time, examining what I am spending time on, and I have, thus far, not been able to find much to let go of.  I also realize that I’m reluctant to let go of some of my obligations because of what if’s.  What if I resign from some boards and I lose the sense of reward I get from participating there? Or I lose contact with people I like knowing? I love being involved in each thing!

I can see that one aspect of my commitments can be changed by adding people and resources to take away some of the burden.  I spend quite a bit of time on the computer lately, designing fliers, creating newsletters, making things happen for programs through all the behind-the-scenes arrangements.  I’m doing many very large projects and that’s the main reason I’ve lost my sense of calm and space in a day.

I don’t really enjoy rushing around, not getting to cross everything off my to-do list, not being able to catch up on emails and phone calls.  Yes, there’s been home construction projects to manage and lots going on. But it’s time to make some choices about how much I let in and what gets pushed back to others or just does not happen.

So the ideal: enough space in a day to get a few mundane tasks done as well as exercise first thing in the morning, do some reading and writing, and add in a couple hours in the art studio.  I like being able to say I accomplished a few main things and had a day slow enough to sit for awhile and daydream, sit in nature in the backyard, or read a little.

Another way to trick my brain in to letting go of some things is to tell myself that there will be time later in life for those things.  I don’t need to be on that board right now, but in 20 years, I’ll be much better able to help them.

So do I plow through the May scheduled events and then begin this during the summer? Or can I start to reshape some things now? Stay tuned.  🙂

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