It's Monday morning! A fresh start to a new week. I actually LOVE Mondays, but I'll be honest and say that I used to dread them. Maybe it's a shift in my career a few years ago, a shift in my thinking or that I just look forward to feeling like I have a 'new slate' of planning the week ahead?!
Since I 'work at home' with my photography business and have this 'flexible' schedule, I do have other advantages that some might not have, but it really hasn't come about as easy as it sounds (a whole other blog post), but thought I'd focus on a few aspects I'm currently concentrating on in simplifying my life. One of these aspects is creating a LESS BUSY life for myself and family. Huh? Do I sound crazy? I don't know about you, but the running from one thing to the next, barely crossing paths with my family at times is just... exhausting and not very 'soul-fulfilling.'
Last year, I finished reading a whole book. A chapter book. The whole entire thing--like from cover to cover. I'm usually a blog or magazine kind of a person, so this was huge for me. From the small print of the cover of "The Best Yes" by Lysa Terkeurst:
1. I'm drowning in the regrets of too many commitments.
2. I'm a little overwhelmed and a lot worn out.
3. I hope there's more to life than my to-do list.
4. I dread saying yes but feel powerless to say no.
I'm definitely a list girl! I love my 'to do' list. I love crossing things off. I love breaking a task into about 3 lines (or more) and crossing them off. And if I feel like it hasn't been too productive of a day, I might even add things to the list that I've done just so I can cross them off! ;) What makes the list for me? Here's my list for today:
What does this book "The Best Yes" and my to-do list have to do with each other? How I'm choosing to spend my time. How we're spending our time. What's on our 'list' for the day/week. What our schedules look like--and not just my schedule--my kids' schedules and activities along with my hubby's. The big 'a-ha' from this book for me was this overlying idea that every time I'm saying 'YES!' to something (a task, commitment, schedule, activity, etc), I'm saying 'NO' to something else. I want my 'YES' commitments to be my BEST YES commitments. I have a paraphrased quote from the book hanging in our house:
So, yes, my 'to do' list has some 'for the soul' kinds of things on it today! I wanted to have some fresh flowers in a few places around the house and literally (and figuratively) take some time today to stop and smell the flowers. My walk to the flowers is about a mile from our house so I got to cross two things off my list in one task! (walk outside and pick flowers). What a great way to start the week!
If this book intrigues you, it's yet another GREAT book I highly recommend. If you're not a 'book person' then skip to the back pages 235-239 for all of the great quotes and overall themes of the book. Chapter three with Lysa was a really great one with a few of these highlighted themes:
1. "A woman who lives with the stress of an overwhelmed schedule will often ache with the sadness of an underwhelmed soul."
2. "Instead of waiting for the time to get started to simply appear one day, we need to be intentional with scheduling it."
3. "The decisions you make determine the schedule you keep. The schedule you keep determines the life you live. And how you live your life determines how you spend your soul."
So, what's your 'stop and smell the flowers' moments you have planned today? Do you have EMPTY white space in your calendar? Just because you have an open night or open time on your calendar, does not mean it needs to be filled with a task ;) It's now mid-morning and I've accomplished a few 'fill my soul' kinds of things on my list today, so I suppose I better get to some of the other to-do tasks on my list!
Oh, and along the same lines, I came across a great blog read today: 8 things that Happy Moms have in common...and number six has 'my word' SIMPLIFY.
Cheers to your 'to-do' list and week ahead!