Sunday, January 17, 2016

Simplify - Or in Other Words, Learning to Say 'No'

I have this issue with always wanting to be involved with everything. Will you do a review? Sure. Will you beta read this book? Sure. Will you plan an entire writing workshop and then take on two more? Of course!

Sometime in November, I decided I couldn't do it anymore. My kids are growing up so fast, and I felt like I was missing out on them. My days and nights were filled with all kinds of extra things, and I realized that I do have the power to get rid of some of it.

There are events that come along with having a family of six active kids. Sports, ballet, scouts, and school concerts. Those are a given and something I wouldn't trade for anything. My writing brings in other events like writing conferences, launches, writing, and editing. Church brings our callings as well.

So what happens when those things overlap with the extra things you want to add on? Chaos. Complete and utter chaos.

Chaos is not why we're here on this earth. We're here so that we might have joy. We're here to do service for others and to teach our children to do the same. The last time I asked for a way to simplify my life, the Lord decided it was time to send our family off to Australia. No joke. I asked. He gave me that chance. And it changed me forever. In a way.

When I came back, I started adding more on again. I'm now the Chair Elect for LDStorymakers, the Literary Director for Eagle Mountain Arts Alliance, and I might just take on one more chair position—which will thankfully happen after I'm done with the Storymaker position.

Here's where you tell me that I'm not exactly simplifying my life. But that's where I'm going next. I had a few offers for a few different writing groups, and I was thrilled to be invited. But then I checked my schedule. And then I checked again. And there was just no way. I had to say no to both. Even though I know my writing could be helped this way, and I know I could help them as well, I had to say no. I just can't add more events to my packed life. 

For example, this last weekend I had a soccer game, basketball game, and then in one hour I had two basketball practices and two basketball games. All at once. With one car. My poor husband spent most of that hour driving and dropping off kids before he was able to catch the last ten minutes of our son's game. What would have happened if we'd had to add another event into that mess?

I'm pretty sure the universe would have exploded. 

So, for now, I'm going to take care of the pile of craziness I have on my hands and deal with it. Somehow I'm going to get through this basketball season and laugh. We've always made it happen. But this time, I'm going to do my best not to add more to my life so that I can enjoy my kids while they're still young. Feel free to ask me for help or advice. I'll help where I can. But if I do say no, I hope you understand that while I want to say yes to everything, I just can't do it right now.

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