January 21, 2015

Finding PEACE in 2015

Come to me 
Walk with me 
Learn the rhythms of my grace 
Come to me 
I have all you need 
Learn to rest even while you are awake 

Are you tired? 
Are you worried? 
Worn out from the day? 
Have you been in a hurry? 
I will slow the pace.

- Sandra McCracken, Come to Me | Rain for Roots

I LOVE this song. The first time I heard it I pulled over on the side of the road and cried. I was weary, I was worried, I was tired, and I needed God's grace. My kids thought I had lost my mind. Bradley came home and told Jeremy, "Something is wrong with Mommy. I think she is hurt. She cried a lot today." 

We live in a moving world. A world that is moving so fast. Deliveries take 2 days and any longer we call to complain. We are bombarded with Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and a number of other cool apps I decided I was too old to add to my already crazy long list. We feel the pressure to respond to e-mails within a couple hours and to return phone calls or texts faster. We are also told, especially us women, that we can do it all... at once! It's multitasking: an art form we perfected. 

This is crazy!! In actuality, multitasking isn't really possible. When you attempt to multitask, you are actually LESS productive and using LESS of your brain potential. You are also probably way more stressed than those who work on one thing at a time. 

taken from an amazing presentation given by Stephanie Howard, a fellow Junior League of Macon member

And this is where I lived 2014. Working from home was really, really hard. I was trying to balance a husband, a house, kids, and two jobs. I would get breaks, but would quickly fill that time with something else I thought I needed to do. 

Then, at the end of the year when contracts were being drawn and discussed, Jeremy was asking me questions about the kids and I was being asked questions about my future plans, I realized that this isn't what I wanted my life to look like. I enjoyed everything I was doing, but not the way I was doing it. So I began making changes. 

I started by saying "no" a lot. Even to stuff that I wanted to do or knew I'd enjoy. I said no to things that I "should" be doing, but would have to sacrifice time with my family when I already hadn't had much that week. Saying no is so hard for me. I question myself each time the word comes out. I want to do it all. But this past year taught me that I just can't. I have to set priorities and stick with them. 

I began doing more yoga and enjoying the quiet mind. I like doing it at night to refocus myself away from the stress of the day and on to a good night of sleep. This meant no more late night work sessions. 

I re-negotiated contracts that gave me more time away from set work schedules. I delegated more responsibility onto those around me where it made sense. 

I reorganized my e-mail so that I can quickly skim through the important ones and decide if they needed to be responded to now or if they could wait. If it can wait, I move it to a different folder and forget about it until I really do have the time to sit and only do e-mail. 

On the same note, I revamped the way I looked at my to do list and made it more manageable and realistic. One that would not produce stress, but encourage me to focus on one task at a time. 

I created an environment where I could thrive by taking away the need to multitask as much (I am a mom! Some multitasking is just necessary.) and one where I could find time to spend doing the things that really matter. 

PEACE. That's my word for 2015. I want to live more simply, more focused, and less worried. What about you? What do you hope to achieve in 2015?