Fall has arrived and with it the season of trees changing colors, brisk mornings, and pumpkin spice lattes in abundance.
Ok… perhaps I’m exaggerating a bit.
Southern California hardly experiences drastic seasonal changes to produce the pops of red, orange and gold hues that I long for. Our recent 105 degree temperatures also begs to differ that it is indeed another fall season. Yet I have noticed quite a few foam filled cups with the words “pumpkin spice latte” etched against the white.
This season continues to be a busy one for me as I seek to find the still in my day.
Those moments where I can sit and catch my breath, reconnecting with myself, taking inventory of the to-do items at hand. I’m constantly moving from one thing to the next: from wiping three sets of sticky fingers TO working my “day” job part-time cleaning teeth TO writing words of encouragement to share here or on other blogs, publications, or with my bible studies TO… the list seems never-rending.
I am always on the move. (Except for those golden hours between 10 pm and 5:30 am!)
Which got me thinking about the individuals I pass every day. Always on the move as well. Busily doing. Constantly moving. Automatically responding to the tasks they have at hand.
However are ALL the tasks at hand NECESSARY or the best use of their time? What is your “Best Yes” for that day? That week? That month?
Earlier this year, I learned about the concept of finding my Best Yes through author and speaker Lysa Terkeurst’s book called “The Best Yes.” In summary, it helps you sort through your thoughts and desires, helping you choose between the options you have in front of you—discovering the best yes out of the many yes’s that we are confronted with each day.
Oftentimes I say “yes” to too many things, leaving me exhausted, depleted, and stressed out beyond my control.
Oftentimes there are two or three really GOOD things I want to say yes to, yet I need to sit back and take a still moment to determine what the consequences would be of saying yes to all of these things.
Would saying YES to my friend who needs a meal dropped off to her home due to her whole household being sick be feasible for me to serve her in this way or would it conflict with my schedule to provide for the needs of my family, overwhelming my already full plate that day? Would saying YES to enrolling my twins in gymnastics be the best thing for my family giving them the exercise and assist their growing dexterity or would this only add to my level of exhaustion at this already very exhausting time? Would saying YES to temping for this office be of benefit to our family in ways that we need or would it prevent me from utilizing that time with my children and facilitating the needs of our household?
Instead of saying “yes” to everything, even good things, we need to figure out what our BEST YES items are to prevent us from overwhelming our schedule, leaving us spiraling out of our control.
At times, I have found myself in that season of life where I am busy doing, filling up my time with tasks that seem important or necessary to me, yet when I take an honest assessment of my busyness, I’ve found many of those tasks were not absolutely necessary or basically not the “best yes” that I could have made at that time.
These days I am careful to keep myself from impulsively saying “yes” to things that would tip me over my tipping point.
Sometimes it may look like saying no to getting together with a friend, even though in my heart I really wanted to, but then realizing that getting together with my friend at a time that’s best for her would interfere with my kids nap schedule, which would only end up with me “seeing red” later on with their screams, whines, and tears of exhaustion (the likely situation to follow). But there are those moments where I decide that going to an event, like a wedding where the ceremony happens to land during my kid’s naptime is worth the sacrifice of having their fantastic meltdowns be on display for all to see later on.
This season of my life has me juggling 13 balls in the air. This is the max amount I can manage. For some, you are only able to juggle 3 (which is just fine). For others you have the ability to juggle 22 comfortably (which seems crazy). For me, instead of adding a 14th ball, thinking I can handle it, I need to reassess and see which ball from the 13 I can let go of or put down in order to add the 14th ball to the mix (if that 14th ball is important enough to add).
Also just because someone else seems to juggle more balls in the air than you does NOT mean that you need to follow suit. Perhaps you are only meant to juggle 2 balls in the air at this season of your life because your tipping point would be 3.
Know your limits.
Take inventory of your tipping point. Realign your “yes’s” and don’t feel bad to say “no” to certain tasks, commitments, and activities if you know those activities added to your schedule would break you past your tipping point.
We are all in the midst of different seasons in our life. Seasons of thrive and seasons of survive. Find the balance that provides you with more satisfaction and joy to your steps rather than add unhealthy worry and stress to your life.