The price of sacrifice: a necessary evil to create space, balance

Leave a comment

The boss and I were discussing a non-work-related topic and I mentioned “not having time.” He said that depended on the level of importance I placed on accomplishing a particular task. And that it would, of course, require a sacrifice of something else on my agenda. Ah yes, the sacrifice. Herein lies the conundrum: I refuse to surrender a couple big-ticket commitments. Although I’ve unloaded one burden (see “When you run out of margin…”) that will free up space, I still struggle to carve out time to do the things I need to do and those things I want to do. Not to mention the 7-8 hours of sleep I should log in each night. I’ve juggled, rearranged and finagled my morning and evening schedules. I’ve simplified, multitasked, prioritized and modified habits and routines. Yet I continue to wrestle with this challenge. Perhaps the answer is to re-examine my needs and wants to find a balance between the two.

What are you willing to sacrifice for more time?

Advertisements

#1 way to grow in every area of your life

Leave a comment

At my last acupuncture appointment, my practitioner inquired about a trip my husband and I took up north to celebrate our wedding anniversary. I told her the getaway proved a magical way to usher in our 30th year of marriage. I also shared that, in retrospect, the majority of our married life had always seemed effortless. This insight struck my husband and me recently after we experienced a falling out and realized that, over the past several years, we’d stopped investing: in each other. In us. Bottom line: When we begin to pursue separate interests more and communicate less, we invite apathy. When we fail to faithfully plant seeds of kindness and love, we foster discontent. But when we afford effort to make together time a priority, we cultivate connection. Here’s the takeaway, friends: what we feed (invest in) grows—whether it’s our vocation, education, bank account, spiritual life, health or relationships. Or even an addiction. And what we starve dies.

Where do you invest the most effort?

Photo source: http://www.erinbettis.com.

When no one is looking: a test of character

Leave a comment

I read an article a while back about social norms and how they fall into two general categories: Injunctive norms mean we’re inclined to act in certain ways if we believe people will think well or think poorly of us, while descriptive norms mean we’re apt to mimic behaviors of others. What about when no one is looking? A few weeks ago I entered my office building’s restroom stall and noticed the toilet tissue folded and pressed into a V shape. I smiled as I thought about the janitor who, after scrubbing the sinks and countertops, the toilets and the floor, took the time to add a personal flair for patrons they would likely never see. Perhaps, today, we can learn from this example and return a shopping cart to its receptacle, extend a random act of kindness (behind the scenes) or straighten up a mess—even if it’s not ours. A good rule of thumb: our habits form our character.

What does your character say about you?

Photo source: http://themooreconsortium.blogspot.com.

Two are better than one: helping each other succeed

Leave a comment

You know when you’re wrestling with a dilemma and not one, but three people share roughly the same thoughts about it? That happened to me recently: an ongoing issue caused me to second guess decisions I’d put in place. One friend tells me I’m re-opening a door long-closed. The second friend texts me a quote that reads: “There may be times when it seems that you cannot go forward, but at least you do not have to go backward.” A third friend re-iterates what I hear from the first two. It seems that in many, if not all cases, others view our situations with more objective eyes than we do. I believe that’s because—whatever the circumstances—we’re likely invested on an emotional level which could cloud our judgment. Although our friends might deal with any fallout we experience, ultimately we’re the ones who live with the consequences of our actions. But that doesn’t mean we can’t accept a helping hand.

When do others know better than you?

Photo courtesy of nenetus at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

Got faith? Your story isn’t over yet.

Leave a comment

On any given weekend over the past several months, I’ve hung my “closed” sign, packed my bags and driven up north. Each time, these getaways prove a source of inspiration and a form of self-care. Opportunities to refresh from “the grind,” to rediscover and reconnect with who I am—a faith-filled wife, mother, sister, employee, friend, writer, yogi, hiker and dreamer. And what I desire out of this one life—simple pleasures like that first sip of liquid magic in the mornings before the sun makes its ascent; autumn’s burst of vibrant color; raw, belly laughter; music and books that stir my soul; a connection between two hearts. To be a light in the world. To make a difference. Yet even if a lone tear slips from my eye when plans fail, I still choose to be grateful, knowing it’s simply part of my story. One that’s not over yet. After all, when our faith is tested, our endurance earns a chance to grow.

How’s your faith life?

You can. End of story.

Leave a comment

On Wednesday I posted an image on Facebook: a cup filled with coffee, the words Happy Hump Day scrawled on its surface and hearts drifting upward from its steam, and added my own message: You can. End of story. What thrills you? You can. What obstacle do you face? You can. What dream persists? You can. I read an article about how society spends more time seeking entertainment and distraction than focusing on learning and creating. And that when we forego the latter, we take a step backward rather than grow into the extraordinary person we’re meant to be. Much of what I read intrigued me: “You are defined by what you’re willing to struggle for.” I believe that. “Most people aren’t willing to really struggle for anything.” I don’t believe that. It might be a struggle simply to rise each day to face your reality. Or perhaps you’re 100 percent satisfied living an ordinary life. Just remember: You can. End of story.

What do you struggle for?

Photo courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

When you run out of margin: create more

Leave a comment

In November, my second three-year term as secretary on my neighborhood community’s HOA board of directors concludes. I’m beyond excited to allocate my extra time toward other pursuits in an already jam-packed schedule. Case in point: a goof up this past Sunday in regard to said schedule reiterates that my margin runs shallow. While I spent two hours in the mountains hiking and writing, my church peeps waited for relief at the information desk. Although written in my planner, I overlooked my commitment when organizing my morning trek. With one minute to spare, I showed up for service, located a seat and later learned I had missed my volunteer stint. Yes, I’m human, but the oversight forced me to admit I either need to a) slow down or b) color code my task list. Regardless, good riddance to crabby neighbors and hello to more time for things that thrill me. It’s about creating margin (and taking a nap or two).

What happens when you run out of margin?

Photo courtesy of nunawwoofy at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

Older Entries Newer Entries