I was one of those kids who couldn’t wait to grow up. The magic of being an adult was so alluring that I chased after it in an almost desperate pursuit. In all my rush, I must have hit a fast forward button somewhere, because life has become a bit of a blur. The days pass so quickly, I never seem to be able to really appreciate everything that is going on, and it is impossible make space for the things I try to fit in. Sometimes I just want to push the pause button or slow it all down, so I don’t miss anything important.
My to do list seems to stretch on and on like a fence marking it’s way off into the horizon. It is relentless and impossibly long. Each time I check off one item, two more seem to fill its spot and I feel oppressed by the taskmaster that will never stop, myself.
How did I let my life become so full that I no longer fit in it? More importantly, how do I fix it? I am finally realizing that rearranging is not the only solution. You can’t fit 100 extra pieces into a 500 piece puzzle. No matter how pretty the extra pieces are, if they don’t fit into my picture, they will keep me from completing my vision.
I’m sitting in the middle of a thousand scattered pieces, and I have to start building somewhere. I must begin by prioritizing, placing my corner and side pieces first, setting my boundaries for the life picture I want to create. I need recognize my limitations, and focus on the things I can fit into that space. I need to accept that while I can not fit everything in, my life will still be beautiful, and I can be happy with it.
I need to have a plan that I can reference as I struggle to fill in the gaps. My husband and children are center front of the puzzle, but where do the other pieces go? Where do I place the work pieces and the school pieces? The house cleaning pieces and laundry pieces seem to take up so much of the neutral space, and somewhere I need to find space for playtime and family vacations. Did I leave space in the puzzle for myself? Am I in the picture somewhere? My family needs me to be there. The picture won’t be right if I don’t leave space for myself next to them.
The hardest part is throwing excess pieces out. I don’t want to accept that they don’t fit. I love those pieces too. I want to make them work, but I can’t. I have to learn to let go. I can not take my children to every sport, sign them up for every play, and attend every party. Sometimes I have to say no. I can not be the mother of the year while writing the next great american novel, keeping a pristine house, and being a musician, a chef, and an artist. I have to choose. Some things will have to be moved to the background or fall completely out of the picture.
If my goal is to get everything done, I will always fail. I can NOT get everything done. It is not possible. I am human, and I have to forgive myself for that. I have to live with the fact that I can’t save everything on my endless to do list from elimination. Some things will be lost, and they may be good things, things I wanted, and things I cared about. It might hurt to let them go, but trying to keep them all would destroy me. Amazingly enough, when I finally let go, I might just have time to love the life I live.