I was racing around, grousing about my lengthy to-do list, grumbling that I had too much to get done in the little time I had allotted. I was feeling overwhelmed. My husband is handy and helpful. But on this occasion, he simply sat in his chair, watching me run from one task to the next, listening to me complain.
Suddenly, he asked me in a quiet voice why I was putting myself through such angst, especially when I had intentionally divested myself of many of my previous commitments and obligations so that I could have more time to simply be and enjoy life.
His question stopped me cold. Why was I putting myself through such torment over such small and insignificant concerns? How had having just a few responsibilities tilted to having too many? Why did I expect so much of myself? Why did I allow for my to-do list to get so long? What impossible perfection was I seeking?
As I replayed my husband's question over in my mind, I realized that I had been piling an unrealistic number of tasks onto each of my days, hurrying from one task to the next to the next without enjoying any single one of them, without giving any particular attention to anything.
I looked at my to-do list, crossed off some items that just didn't need to be done period, moved others to future days that didn't have anything listed so far, delegated where appropriate and let go of fruitless expectations.
I started focusing on having no more than five things on my daily to-do list. I prioritized them. Consequently, I made my anxiety-inducing calendar more manageable.
Instead of succumbing to the din of busyness, I became more quiet, centered and mindful of what I realistically felt I could get done in my day.
The weeks between Thanksgiving and the end of the year can be hectic. Are you feeling overwhelmed these days? How might you reduce those feelings?
Our days are meant to be enjoyed. Take a deep breath of peace, set realistic expectations for yourself and feel the joy of the season.