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Reflection 7 in A Minute of Margin begins with this quote:
"Still another step to simplicity is to refuse to live beyond our means emotionally. In a culture where whirl is king, we must understand our emotional limits. Ulcers, migraines, nervous tension and a dozen other symptoms mark our psychic overload. We are concerned not to live above our means financially, why do it emotionally?" -Richard Foster, Quaker Theologian, Author
That is where I am right now. Reflection Number 7... Somewhere between putting the house back in order after the holidays and restarting school with the kids, I've lost my rhythm. I think I introduced too many hard-scheduled new things at once. We have homeschooling skiing (an amazing deal we couldn't pass up) on Thursdays, we volunteer at the animal shelter on Tuesday mornings, Buttercup has Drama class on Monday evenings, we've reinstated Friday Celebration on Friday mornings, and we meet up with Charming every Saturday afternoon and evening.
The house is clean and well-kept, the laundry is up-to-date, and the school-work is getting done. My days seem to be passing in a blur. Meals feel slapdash and I'm not getting to exercise the way I "need" to in order to feel sane. Projects are moving along slowly (because I am not insane and only do a little bit at a time) and I'm not having much time to devote to them.
On the outside, we're making things happen and meeting our commitments. On the inside, I'm unsettled and feeling rattled. Does that sound weird to you? My days are running together as the weeks race by. Sometimes I look around and wonder how people do what they do. So many families I know do so much more than we do and seem to do it well. But we're readers, dreamers, and we need unscheduled time. We don't do well when we're overbooked and "overbooked" to us means something different than it might mean for them (or you). How do you do it? How do you decide when you've had enough? No one really talks about it, but we're not superwomen or Stepford wives.
So, I'm rereading the book and I'm looking at our schedule. I've got to figure out a) how I might make it work better or b) if I have to get rid of something, what will we be getting rid of. I'm figuring out how to hit the "reset" button...we need it. We can't do all the things we want to do right when we want to do them. Sometimes, we have to say "no" in order to say "yes" to a fuller, richer life. Less really can be more.