Lately, I can’t seem to get a hold on the hours, days, or weeks before they fly by.
Not pictured in the above photo ^: the panic on my face at the thought of forgetting to order enough gifts or USPS/UPS shipments not arriving on time.
I hate this feeling. The feeling of not being able to get on top of your to do list, of time escaping you, of feeling like you can’t stop long enough to slow down and enjoy life moment by moment. It’s like that nightmare where you’re running as hard as you can but you aren’t getting anywhere. I keep thinking I’ll catch up until I realize I’ve got more things to do.
That is my life at the moment and I. don’t. like. it.
A literal picture of what the days have felt like, except instead of all smiles, I am PANICKING.
Then today, I was challenged by my devotional to ask the question “What can I realistically do without losing my joy?”.
I think the first step is allowing yourself to slow down. Everyone has their limits.
And the truth is, even if it doesn’t feel like it, I can slow down at any moment if I’m intentional about it.
When I first started working at my current company, straight out of college, I was on a fast-paced high-stakes project. It often demanded late hours and rushing to meet deadlines all while I was still figuring out my new post-university life. The job was stressful, let alone for a recent graduate. My manager had a phrase that saved my sanity more than once — he would even write it at the top of my white board in my office when I needed the reminder. When things were crazy and deadlines were pressing, he would remind himself and his team to “get off the roller coaster”. It simply means when things are fast-paced and wild, don’t let it override your heart and mind in the process. You don’t have to be on the roller coaster of crazy just to get things done. Staying on the roller coaster can actually make things worse. It reminds me to step aside for a minute, gather my thoughts, slow the racing of my mind, and start the work without getting swept away in the negative emotions of it.
To this day, I love that phrase.
You can slow down.
If you’re feeling overloaded, it’s just a matter of recognizing you can’t do everything and deciding what you give yourself permission to sacrifice. Yes. You can give yourself permission to let things go.
Things that I’m choosing today not to sacrifice this season: seeking the face of God (psalm 27:8), pursuing my husband and the health of our marriage (my wake up call was this morning when we both woke up in a hurry and CRANKY), diligence in my job, keeping a grateful heart (I’m working on this one by keeping a mini journal of 3-5 things I’m grateful for each day. Which makes it doable and not intimidating. Super helpful!).
Things I’m giving myself permission to sacrifice: a perfectly clean house/office (this one is a double edged sword because clean house can sometimes = peace of mind), packing the blog with helpful holiday shopping resources and links, taking new Christmas/holiday photos with Dill and Kylo in time for Christmas cards to go out (which is actually hard for me, if you know me and which is also why last year’s photos are being used for this post…..HA).
Today, I’m reminding myself of this saying: You can do anything but you can’t do everything.
It’s cheesy but true ; We were not designed to take on everything and do it all. That’s great news! A huge burden off of our shoulders.
So if you’re like me and feel like you’re being swept away in the business of the holidays,
take a breath.
pray for peace.
get off the roller coaster.
and start with a renewed spirit.