Lisa already pointed out that today is the last day of October, which means that Thanksgiving is right around the corner, and Christmas is hot on its tail. Before we know it, it will be time to grab the confetti and ring in the New Year. It never fails that this time of year seems to fly by: the calendar gets crowded with commitments and celebrations, there are cookies to bake, presents to buy, people to visit, etc., etc.
In a world that rewards the go, go, go, I find myself craving space and time for Kyle and I, and even for our future children. I long for dinners eaten at our table (more on this later), date nights, and the occasional lazy Saturday morning sipping coffee in our pajamas. So, I try my hardest to hold tight to this family value by abiding by hint #6: take a deep breath (then take another).
For us, learning to say no means taking a deep breath (and then another) and purposefully creating space (also know as margin) in our household. It means looking at the calendar and carving out un-busy time and being fiercely loyal to our family first and foremost.
In doing so, we find that we have more energy and focus available to love on others, help out where needed and invest our time in what matters most. We also find that we are less likely to be grumpy, annoyed and angry at one another. I am guilty as charged for becoming too busy, which leads to being stressed, resulting in a certain blue-eyed boy falling victim to my wrath and irrational outbursts.
Sometimes in the busy, it’s easy to forget to stop and take a deep breath. It’s easy to continue to cram the schedule so full that we lose sight of what really matters. I love to say ‘yes’ to everyone: to every party invitation, request for cookies, need for a volunteer. I feel guilty saying ‘no’ because I am usually saying ‘no’ to something that is fun, helpful or needed. But, heavens alive, saying ‘no’ sometimes is outrageously important. Investing in my marriage and fighting for a little space ultimately trumps the guilt and allows us to better serve one another and our community in the long run.
Admittedly, we aren’t juggling soccer practice, ballet and play dates yet; however, we feel strongly that this hint will become even more important when fighting to keep little schedules from running our lives. Continuously overcrowded calendars does not allow you to fuel yourself or your marriage. I actually believe that being too busy does not allow you to be your best anything.
So, I encourage you to stop, take a deep breath and create some space. There’s no time like the present to sit down and look at your calendar, especially as the holidays are approaching. Having a commitment every night or being gone every weekend might sound necessary, but at what cost? Fight for space. Fight for a few nights of un-busy… and an occasional lazy Saturday in your pajamas.