This is my birthday week! (YAY!) And we are gearing up to….well, wind down I suppose! :) We are getting ready to go away for a few days to celebrate my birthday, and I don’t know about everyone else out there, but anytime we’re about to go away for a few days I always do this same thing to myself. I start by making a list. Not a normal, human, mere mortal to-do list mind you. But a super-human list of every possible thing that anyone could ever possibly need from us ever. Things that would never make it on a normal day to day to-do list and nobody ever really needs or has thought about in months, but I somehow become convinced that they suddenly have to get done in the next 48 hours before I can truly relax on vacation. Or maybe, more to the point, that if they don’t get done….that if I go away without a truly clean slate & everything to zero, then maybe I don’t actually deserve a vacation.
Now, before you judge me too much for that last statement…I’m not saying I actually believe that or that I’m not in fact going to still take the darn vacation (because I AM!). What I’m talking about is that gnawing feeling that I think each of us deals with on some level at some point that we’re just… not enough. That the work we’ve done isn’t enough. That what we’ve given isn’t enough. That there’s always more, more, more to be done. And who are we to rest when the list is ever growing?
God has been working on my heart in this area in a BIG way this year. Convincing me, ever so slowly but surely that my worth isn’t based on how many boxes I’ve checked off. That I’m not defined by how many things I can fit into one day. That when I say silly, silly things like “I’ll sleep when I’m dead”….I’m actually missing out on this beautiful life that’s right in front of me. This life He’s given me. I swear to you some days, He’s actually using my inbox as spiritual proof that there will always be more things that will come in to do. But there is also only ONE chance to dance in the kitchen with your husband right now, to walk on the sea wall in the morning fog because it will be gone before we know it, to hug a ten year old puppy waiting for you to not be busy. That, in the words of Cheryl Strayed in the book/movie Wild, “There’s a sunrise and a sunset every day, and you can choose to be there for it. You can put yourself in the way of beauty.” Lately God has been speaking to me on this everywhere, from the movies I watch to the letters that show up on my doorstep to the books that I’m reading.
Just this past week, I read two passages in the book Savor (that I’ve already talked about here & think everyone should get!), but these two in particular I just felt like EVERYONE needed to hear them right now. So I combined them into one post and included them below. Today, let’s choose to put down the superwoman capes, to stop being everything to everyone…and to put the first things first.
“I think I’ve been in a hurry for almost seven years. And since then, it seems I’ve been running against the clock. I’ve been stacking things up, plan upon plan upon plan. I’ve been cramming things in-pushing, hustling, scurrying. I’ve been strategizing, multi-tasking, layering commitments one upon another like bricks. ‘Frantic’ is when your mind has to work seven steps ahead instead of just being where you are, because this deadline is coming up and the laundry has to get done before that trip, and now you need to beg for more time on this project. Again.
I’m not alone. So many of us are really, really tired of the hustle. And the next right thing is to slow down, go back to the beginning, to stop. I’m done with frantic. The new baseline for me will be: will saying yes to this require me to live in a frantic way?
This is the year of more love, less hustle. When I say “hustle,” what I mean is that voice that tells you to get up off the couch as soon as you sit down for even a second. That voice that says you’re never done, do more, think ahead, plan ahead, hold it together, go, go, go. Hustle isn’t about your job, necessarily, or my job necessarily. I know people who work more than I do, longer than I do, with a lot more success and pressure, and they don’t hustle. And I know people who have very few demands on their time or very little financial pressure or whatever it is, and still….they’re always, always hustling.
It’s about your to-do list, but MORE than that it’s about what it is inside you that made you sign up for all that in the first place.
The word that rings in my mind is anti-frantic. Present with my kids. Present to my own life.
This is the year of more love, less hustle.
Today let the fearful voice of hustle be overwhelmed and silenced by love.” -Shauna Niequist