the secret to doing it all
The Internet is full of examples of people who appear to be "doing it all," and perhaps they are. You may have even looked at me and asked, "how do you do so much?" We'll, today I'm here to share the secret.
Every day there are dozens, hundreds, even thousands of things that call for your attention. Do you tackle all of them? Probably not. Spam filters and caller ID are examples of how we choose to weed out some of the things that we don't need to handle. Once those things are filtered out, we're left with the bigger stuff, and this is where it gets tricky.
In the latest Uppercase magazine newsletter, editor Janine writes about how she does so much: "My day is always a juggle of what is imperative and what I want to be doing, with the must-do always winning out." If you have a job outside the home, that's a must-do. If you're a stay-at-home mom, feeding little ones throughout the day is a must-do. If you freelance craft (like me), meeting deadlines is a must-do.
Everything else falls under things that would be good to do, or that you simply want to do. These are extras.
Squeezing in extras whenever you can is how they happen. Yes, you can try to schedule things with the best organizational strategies, and that may work for some, but Janine from Uppercase has this insight: "What I have learned, though, is that time cannot be controlled. It is basically unmanageable." Another way to say this is "life happens."
And so here's the big secret to doing it all: don't.
Rather, I offer this alternative...
Say yes to less things. So no to more things. Choose what's really important for your life...for your soul. Do what you can do, and don't feel bad that you're not doing it all.
I spend a ton of time making things, and I can do that because there's a lot that I don't do. I don't go out with friends often (maybe one Saturday morning a month...if that!). Crafting is now my primary job, but it doesn't pay a huge amount. I don't live in my own apartment, because I choose this work (and time with my family) over that independence. I'm also single, so I have less family responsibilities. I also don't release nearly as many patterns and projects as I would like to.
Author and pastor Bill Hybels wrote in his new book: "Your calendar is the primary tool for helping you become who you want to become." It's about not doing everything, but doing what is truly important.
It's a lesson I'm still working on. I'd like to think that this post is progress. You see, I had hoped to embroider the design above. I have a hoop with fabric and floss all picked out. I'd like this hanging on my wall as a reminder to do what I can do.
I opted to share my thoughts and not worry about the stitching just yet.
This might not have been the big secret you were looking for, but I hope it gives some hope. It's okay to let some things go. Doing everything, or even just doing more, may not be what you need. You may just need some grace in your days. Do what you can do.