I struggle with a very significant issue. You might suffer from the same thing.
It’s called Wanna-Do-Everything-itis.
I think I must pretend that there are 5 of me when I’m planning out my day. I have all of these visions of the things that I will do in a single day–not just in business, but in family life (we’re undertaking a trial year of homeschooling), housework, general organization, and social life. Sometimes I fill my plate in a single area with plans for enough activities to take up the entire day.
I want to do it all. (And, to be more specific, I want to do it all well.)
At this point in my life’s journey, I feel relatively comfortable that I don’t want to do it all because of my struggle with perfectionism. I honestly feel that it is sourced in a zeal and zest for life that makes me fall in love with the opportunity to do and be so many things. And I want to squeeze every drop of potential out of those opportunities…and out of my personal capability to embrace them.
There’s just one problem. I keep forgetting that I can’t (and shouldn’t) do everything at 100% capacity during every moment of every day.
Right now, I am still planning my days like I can. I assume that my energy will always be high, my health will always be good enough, that my focus will always be totally fixed on my intended goals, and that no distractions or unintended interruptions will creep in. I’ll accomplish everything on that long list of lovely opportunities.
In short, I plan my day to live in a fantasy world.
I’ve neglected to leave space. Space for the unexpected. Space for the simple enjoyment of little moments. Space for being gentle to myself. Space for…well, for the sake of having space.
Leaving space requires me to embrace a little bit of humility. I can’t do it all, nor can I do it to my fullest potential 100% of the time. It also takes a certain acceptance that leaving space isn’t lazy.
I think the most important part of leaving space is doing so intentionally. Not letting space just happen (like letting 5 minutes of Facebook somehow turn into 30), but rather building space into the day to just be. To sit with the kids and do whatever our hearts lead us to do. To walk outside on the porch, take a deep breath, and listen. To lay down and stare at the ceiling and let my mind wander to the people I love but haven’t seen in years, or the vacation that I hope to take with Rob for our 20th wedding anniversary. Space for its own sake. To see what happens.
I’m going to challenge myself over the next two weeks to build space into my day…and to not feel guilty about it. If you feel moved to do the same, I’d love for you to join me.
You never know what surprises might fill in the spaces between the plans and the chores and the accomplishments. It might be the most important opportunity of the day.