Life is busy. As an adult, I am realizing how easy it is to fill my time with work, volunteer opportunities and many other things. I’m always running here, doing this and saying “yes” to another thing…because someone has to step up and take charge, right? And as a yes girl, I find it particularly hard to say no to opportunities when asked to volunteer or get involved.
Last week I experienced a breakthrough moment. I actually said no to something. What?! It can’t be true. I just don’t say no to things I enjoy doing! Let me explain.
I have been a volleyball coach for Dowling Catholic’s club volleyball program for the past three years and absolutely love it. But it’s also a really big commitment, especially with my time. I love mentoring young girls, and there is nothing more fun than coaching and helping girls learn the game and life skills to make them successful on and off the court. And although it’s something I am passionate about, I made the tough decision that I needed to say no this year. After taking a step back and thinking it through, I saw how much I have over-committed myself for far too long, and I just need a break to breathe a little. And the best part? Because I truly took the time to think and pray about it, I feel content about my decision.
Of course one of my first thoughts right after I said no was what else can I volunteer for with all of this free time? Probably not the best thing to think about right after saying no (whoops), but saying no also opened the door for me to seek out what I am really passionate about in life. And if I potentially invest my time in something else, I can also be intentional about the time commitment by not overdoing it.
The bottom line is that I struggle saying no to extra activities because I love to volunteer and absolutely love to give back. One of my goals in life is to make this world a better place, and for me that comes through actionable hands-on activities and volunteering. I find that it is way easier for me to give and give for other people, but I don’t do a good job of stepping back and taking time to rejuvenate and give back to myself. My dear friend Madison Mayberry, who blogs over at Espresso and Cream, wrote about this exact topic last week, and I can completely relate with her. Madison also challenges me to take time for myself and to enjoy life a little more. Check out her post and her blog, it’s always full of good stuff!
I feel like I am finally matured to a place where I realize I need to define what my priorities are outside of work and really invest in spending time doing the things I am passionate about. Many times in my life my priorities are upside down because I lose focus on what is truly important. For example, when is the last time I took quiet time with God to really just be and soak up his Word? When was the last time I read a book (I seriously have no idea, not good!)? Or when was the last time I was home after work to unwind and cook a good dinner? Cooking is a passion of mine, and by working to fill my life full of activities it’s simply an activity that too many times I frankly just miss out on.
The thing that I have learned over the past week is that I am going through a personal time transformation. I am learning what is valuable and it’s okay to slow down in my life. And I have realized that it’s not all about being busy or finding things to fill my time with; it’s about truly figuring out what matters in life, what fulfills me and grabbing on to those things. And it’s okay to have quiet time or take time for me to rejuvenate and relax.
And I feel good about that.
What is your busy trap? Are there things you have stopped doing just to keep sanity in your life? How do you rejuvenate and relax?