Well, we are still technically at the beginning of the school year, right? And are you still being asked to take on a few more commitments? Let’s assume they must all be super important and your participation is vital. So, be honest, are you feeling stressed yet? Or perhaps a better question would be to ask your family, “Are you pleasant to be around?” This might be a good time to remind you that Wonder Woman is a fictional character! Also, allow me to point out, she has no children and no family responsibilities to juggle on a daily basis. She does have that handy “Lasso of Truth” that I could have used on countless occasions, but I digress . . .
For all of us living with the realities of life, we must accept who God created us to be. That means we embrace both our strengths and limitations. And we stop comparing ourselves to others. I can’t tell you how many times I have asked my husband, “Why can’t I manage doing as much as . . . “ – you get the picture, right? Comparison is harmful—especially when our genuine understanding of another person’s life is incomplete. So let’s stop looking around us and, instead, look to the God who made us and ask what He would have us say “yes” to.
Sometimes we need the perspective of another person. About a year ago I was chatting with one of my daughters who was telling me about the busyness of life. I casually mentioned that her kids’ schooling took up about 85% of her time. I completely underestimated the impact that comment would make. What she had experienced—like so many of us—was the slow “creep” of saying “yes.” At her children’s classical school that utilizes collaborative learning, her involvement looked very different with one child than it did with three. Her responsibilities gradually increased over a few years. And if you add on the addition of having a child with any learning disability, the demands go up even more. She is naturally better at juggling a lot more than I am, but even she has her limits. And she needed another person to help her see how big her “yes” had become. And this awareness gave her the ability to make better decisions about the remaining 15% of her time.
If I could, I would tell my younger self to stop trying to do so much. There is nothing wrong in living within your means—not just financially, but also emotionally, mentally, and physically. This lesson, like so many others, I tend to re-learn over and over. I wish I could say “yes” to more things, but it isn’t in my best interest—or others’ best interest. At one time in my children’s lives, I came to the conclusion that I would no longer say “yes” to any evening commitments. If I got an invitation to anything in the evening, my response was an automatic “no.” I actually found it to be a relief—no more agonizing over what to decide. And, today, my question to you is “What do you need to decide?”