This article about “The Overwhelm” made the rounds online a earlier in the summer and I’ve read it a few times since then. I know there are actually a lot of things I DON’T have on my plate right now. Kids…a long commute… upkeep of a large house (the #1 benefit of living in a one bedroom, one bath apartment is having only one bed to make and one bathroom to clean…) etc.
So its clear that much of the “must get this all done now” pressure is all in my head. I’m one of those people who has a really hard time truly relaxing unless the sink is empty, the counters wiped, the laundry folded, the bed smooth… And even without those “big ticket” items like a baby or a house, I manage to stress myself out plenty over how much I think I have to do RIGHT NOW. And its totally nonsense, because I should know by now that there will never be a time when everything is “done” because that just isn’t how the world works. There’s always going to be something else to do, to redo, to fix, to perfect, to finish.
The cliche is true – life is short. I especially like this passage from the article:
You can’t manage time. Time never changes. There will always be 168 hours in a week. What you can manage are the activities you choose to do in that time.
TRUTH. Its obviously not possible (or advisable) to totally ditch the housework or stop checking email or chipping away at the to do lists of life. I love lists and certainly have no plans to quit making them… but I just think its a great reminder to keep things in perspective – to remember what’s most important to us, to slow down when we’re running 100 miles a minute, to breathe and to make the time to do things that we love.