It's not typical for me to have two weeks on my calendar that have an abundance of empty space. If I look more closely, I see that I have many days where my only scheduled time is to teach a Jazzercise class (hardly work). I have found myself in the last several months longing for times like these. I would look at my weekly schedule on Sunday evening, as I prepare for my week, and feel a bit of sadness that there was no open space in there. I have a long list of things I want to do when my calendar isn't being filled up by others. I will share what my list says today:
- Finish setting up my journal coaching website
- Pay my bills
- Make some cookies
- Pull or spray the weeds
- Vacuum the spider webs from the screen porch
- Text my gr. daughter to set up time for a date before school starts
- Write your blog
- Sew those 2 aprons you have cut out
- Work on family history
- Transcribe some of Dad's journal
- Make a grid of all your clients and develop a system for tracking activity and communication
- Walk with the dogs
- Finish reading a book
- Learn some new Jazzercise routines
- Write some cards to people you care about
Pretty fun list of things to tackle, don't you think? I thought so when I put together the list on Sunday night. Now, it's Tuesday afternoon and I haven't done hardly anything on the list. I have come to realize that I am really great at getting things done and being productive when it's for someone else; when it's for me - I am just not very good at it. I can come up with a thousand other things that are more important than the things on my list that are really just "want-to-dos". Several times yesterday and today I felt myself spinning my wheels, feeling kind of lost and not making any progress. Maybe this is what it feels like to not have pressure or deadlines or to relax, but I don't do it well. It's so odd because when I am weighed down with a to-do list for everyone else, I can really crank through the list, but I also can find myself complaining about how much I have to do.
Let me tie this to a story I read in a magazine recently. It's about a guy that really wanted to buy a shiny new pick up truck. He really, really wanted this truck. He did his research and found a good price on one and built a nice sob story for his wife as to why he needed the truck.
At some point, she caved and he found himself with a great new truck. A few weeks after the purchase, he headed up into the mountains to cut wood and bring it home for burning in the winter. The closer he got to his destination, the deeper the snow got. He pulled the truck off the road at some point to check out if this was a good place to cut wood or not. Upon deciding it was, he decided to move the truck a bit more off the road. Guess what? The truck was stuck. The wheels were spinning. It didn't move. You can imagine the thoughts that went through this mind about his shiny new truck and the grief he would get from his wife about the truck being stuck in the snow. As he pondered what to do and waited for someone to come by and pull him out, he decided he may as well cut up some wood and fill the box of the truck. After getting it nearly full, he jumped in the truck to make a phone call and felt prompted to try it one more time. To his surprise, the truck slowly inched forward out of the place where it had been stuck. He was able to get the truck up on the road and bring the load of wood home safe and sound.
Moral of the Story
Sometimes, the things we think of as burdens or adding weight, are truly what we need to get us moving. It was the weight of the wood in the truck that gave the tires traction to pull the truck out of the place it was stuck. There are many things that can add weight to our trucks ... responsibilities to others, timelines, illness, financial burdens, tough relationships, etc. Not to be cliche' but, "when the going gets tough, the tough get going". Up until that truck had a load that added weight, the truck was useless in the snow. I am feeling that a bit myself right now. The burden is light and I am not digging in and getting moving. I can't be the only one that has experienced this, can I?
The Right Balance
As you thoughtfully consider whether you need more weight in order to get traction, please remember the other extreme. This is the tired truck that is quite simply overloaded. If a few people got off in addition to about half of the supplies, this truck would be much more productive. It could go further on less fuel. There would be less wear and tear on the truck. There would be less danger of something going wrong with the heavy load it was carrying. This also sends a powerful message to us ...
Time for me to go back to my list and consider how I can put some weight in my truck and get some traction this week!