Updated: Oct 23, 2019
I woke up this morning with a pull to my favourite walking trail, stronger than yesterday's and determined to be heard.
I decided that, yes, being a cooler day, the season of Autumn upon us, I'd definitely commit to walking it as soon as school run was done. I went about the morning business of getting A ready for school and that's when it hit. We had a busy weekend and household chores got pushed aside, things that needed doing (like laundry) were done minimally.
Preparing for the day I discovered a washing machine full of wet clothes, the last of the clean underwear (admit it, we've all had those days), a messy kitchen that I did not return to last night, and a list of errands to run.
Suddenly my plan of walking this trail was cast aside with a flurry of "dammit"s and such. I found every excuse not to go. Don't you know, I have stuff that needs my attention?! I don't have the luxury of wandering around the bush! No one else is gonna do it if I don't. There's not enough time for all of this. Blah blah blah.
That's when I heard it. The quiet voice, delicate at first, then as I listened it became louder and louder. I allowed this new voice space and I listened closely - I found wisdom in this voice and it said, "all of those things will wait."
And the voice, my heart, is right. All of those things will wait. The pull I have for the walking trail is there for a reason and this is not one of those times to rationalise and excuse it away.
I finished the school run and I went walking.
I am currently sat on ground writing this, thankful that I listened. It's the reset I needed after a very heavy people weekend.
I walked the trail with kangaroos as my company, birds singing and the wind gently rustling the trees. It was exactly what I needed and I'm glad I listened.
The lesson? Let your heart win.
Listen to the small voice inside yourself and don't rationalise it away with all the "stuff" we need to do. All of that might be important, yes, but if we don't do what rejuvenates and energises us, all that stuff cannot get done.
The truth? All the stuff will wait and it's a game of control.
I will tell you that all that stuff we think is so very important to be done NOW, it will wait, at least for the time we can give ourselves to reset. Half the time what we view as urgent actually isn't. It's a trick our mind and ego plays on us to feel like we are in control of our lives. Here's another truth, we aren't. We are in the driver's seat but we do not have all-encompassing control, and when we try to strangle life by controlling it with a death like vice grip, we miss all the beauty and spontaneity.
The lie? Don't put off until tomorrow what you can do today.
Ben Franklin, I disagree. I understand the crux of this statement, it is encouraging us not to fall into procrastination and laziness but I often think it is used to keep us in a perpetual state of busy. Here's a secret - tomorrow will always have new things to do. New errands, new agendas, new tasks, new stuff.
If we are continually putting our own needs after the tasks we have to do today we will constantly find ourselves getting to midnight and not having achieved anything for ourselves. This is a recipe for burnout, bitterness, resentment, and early death.
The challenge? Burn off the busy.
Are you up for a challenge? I urge you, grab a notebook and rule a page into 2 columns. Spend 1(one) week writing down all the tasks you've completed, in one column for others, in the other column, for yourself. At the end of a week, look at which task list is longer. Now revisit your list and mark which of those "other" tasks is truly urgent and|or non-negotiable (like cooking, washing clothes etc). Can you see anywhere that you might be able to cut back and spare time for yourself so life is more about proportional time sharing? Is there a way you can share the load with other members of your household? Or are there tasks that are completely redundant and obsolete? Often when we don't actually evaluate we accumulate bits and pieces that serve no purpose. Try burning off the busy to make space for something new.