We live in a culture of competitive busyness. One positive lesson from Co-Vid in my family is we learned that downtime at home as a family is more important to us than the non-stop extracurricular activities of our past. We learned that watching the Marvel movies in chronological order created more family bonding, inside jokes, and conversation than traveling for soccer every weekend. We learned that focusing on one beloved activity gave more life to our daughter than worrying about padding her resume for college with many clubs and distractions. We started to value rest.
Knowing this, I still find constraint hard. I used to think that everything sounded exciting or fun, and I didn't want to miss out on any opportunity. However, through studying my thought patterns and motivations, I find that this is not the real reason I pack my calendar so full.
I tie my worthiness to activity and doing things. I crave the accolades for being the go-to person to get things done. I become a human doing, not a human being.
This awareness has helped me not only list off values that I want to embrace. It helps me say no to non-priorities. I didn't volunteer at my daughter's dance recital or with the PTA this year. Instead, I chose to focus on evolving both of my businesses. I am making hiring decisions that allow me to develop a team approach to serving my clients better than I alone can. I can use the freed-up time to serve my staff and my coaching clients. I chose to work a partial day on Sunday in tax season in order to take off at 3 PM on two weekdays to pick my kids up from school and hear about their day.
As you implement your ideal calendar, you will find that some things you couldn't imagine quitting don't create a deep satisfaction in your life. This is a sign that your priorities are shifting, and you get to decide what's next and what's right for you.
When is the last time you decided what you want for yourself? Not what is expected. Not what others insist is the priority. Not what our society dictates you should want.
The inner knowing that comes from following the schedule you created as ideal will provide so much clarity. You can't hear that voice when you are a slave to a calendar of other peoples' priorities. Give it a shot, and then make brave choices from your heart.