Women have the uncanny desire to do everything.
We volunteer for classroom every week. Do cafeteria or playground duty. Board for preschool. We do bookclubs, socials, all sorts of things. We take on freelance work, new orders, more work.
It’s so tempting to say “yes” to all these commitments.
After all, you may have figured out how to run life at home like a busy McDonald’s with chaos synchronized into a beautiful dance. (If that’s you, I hate you.)
And when a good and noble opportunity comes along just begging you to take it on, you figure, “Yes, I can fit in just this one thing.”
I Tell You: Stop Filling Your Plate!
While you may figure you are at 80% capacity — and you think you can afford to be at 100% capacity — you actually can’t.
It’s like leaving a little room for cream for coffee. If you fill the coffee to the full, you’ll overflow.
You need that free time called “white space” to spend at your discretion.
Life Is Unpredictable
All it takes is just one unordinary or a rough event that will throw you into chaos.
- Your sister-in-law has to go to the hospital
- Your child or pet is sick or doesn’t sleep
- Your health (or your child’s health) is acting up. Again.
- Your DrSpouse is on nights, studying for boards, traveling to interviews and conferences (Or any of the hundred things they have to do to succeed.)
And when your DrSpouse is handling other people’s emergencies, who will handle your emergencies? YOU, my friend!!
Time For The Unexpected
Not only should you be using unplanned free time to handle any emergency, but also do randomness with your family.
Young kids care about being with you and having your attention right now. Their memory is only what happens each and every day. They need your quality time now more than ever.
A random walk in the park or ice cream? A few minutes of intentional play with them without you glancing at your cell phone?
That will provide more benefits to your kids than you realize.
Make margin for what matters.
You Can Still Sometimes Say “Yes”
I’m not saying never bring meals to families who are ill or just had a baby, or never join your kids’ PTAs and schools, and so on.
I am saying be SUPER selective about which commitments you make:
- Are you serving on a committee that doesn’t serve the people you love?
- Are you in a kids activity because everybody else’s kid is in it?
- Is what you’re participating in causing stress and anxiety instead of fulfillment?
Unclutter your calendar and only choose the few select commitments that propel you into the person you want to become and the goals you have.
Get in the habit of asking yourself this question:
Does this support the life I’m trying to create?
If the answer is not “HELL YES,” then get rid of it.
Billionaire Warren Buffett said:
“The difference between successful people and really successful people is that really successful people say no to almost everything.”
If you don’t say “HELL YES” to it, then it’s a “no.” Learn to say “no” a lot more than you do right now and without any guilt.
Have unplanned time (“white space”) built into your day. You need more unplanned time than you think you need. So, be comfortable with being still.
Only then will we have room for the unexpected moments that matter.
I am hugging and supporting you, friend ❤️
To your strong medical family,
What year was the hardest in your medical journey so far?