In the normal fare of awful TV that comes into this house via Big Dave has been at least two different car shows. One is about auctioning cars, and the other is about renovations. I should tell you that Big Dave, unlike many of the male species, has not taken a particularly strong liking to car renovation...although he does his share of changing fluids, belts and pads around here.
They talk about things that I know not of...like carburetors, manifolds and gauges and often remark that they are glad that the pulled out this or that to clean or see so that the car they were about to pay a small mint for is running "on all cylinders."
If only I could get that kind of checkup. In spite of the fact that I spent time last week (and have another one this week) getting this or that checked...only to find out that I need less fuel and more time moving...I have been firing kind of randomly lately.
Let's take my attention span, for one. I have always been able to keep at least five balls in the air at a time without dropping one...and I multitasked when that wasn't even a word. Now I find this impossible. I can juggle at least three things at a time, with a fourth short term something or other, but the fifth thing tends to either not get off the ground, or ends up being dropped in a most unsatisfactory and/or unflattering way.
Where I used to keep up with the schedules of four people, two dogs, a cat, friends of mine, friends of my children, my parents, my siblings, the nieces and nephews, assorted neighbors and church people...I am doing well if I get myself to where I am supposed to be when I am supposed to be there.
Because frankly....I just cannot seem to get it all done.
Don't even get me started about work, remembering birthdays, attending special functions, my daily devotional, or filling out the mounds of paperwork that I touch every day of my life. I'm just tired.
I have spent the past twenty-five years with an "S" on my chest with various people asking me how I manage to do it all. (Okay, not literally for those of you who aren't getting the fact that I am quite liberal with the metaphors.) So, naturally, it should make perfect sense that it is time to move over to the letter "T" for "tired.
Personally, I'd prefer something like "I" for "intentional" - because that's what I've been shooting for. But it has been backfiring. That's because I'm not firing on all cylinders.
Part of it is probably a function of major change coming in my life. Jill is graduating in less than three weeks and I am - as we have already established if you ever read these - in my 50th year. There is some uncertainty in a couple areas of my life, and now the doctors want me doing things like "moving" and "reducing." Dang.
I've changed from feeling like I had a whole lot ahead of me that I had to get through to that point where I don't know what tomorrow holds...and all I want to be is tuned up well enough to go out there and do whatever it is I am still drawing breath to do.
In my spiritual life, I have a wonderful church and Christian friends that pretty much make life easy for me. I have people who I don't have to be anything but myself around. I attend church and Sunday School regularly and I am growing in my faith. I won't go into some of it, but I feel like I have finally figured out a lot of the walk part...but I have at least one bad "spark plug" that is keeping me from firing on all cylinders. Even though I tend to read at least four books at a time...most days...the Bible is not the first one I pick up. That needs to change.
With regard to paperwork...I am still filling out forms that are not my responsibility. I'm not talking about helping someone out...I'm talking about filling out forms for the three people who live in my house who are perfectly capable of filling out their own forms. Do I really want my children bringing me their tax forms and doctor questionaires when they are thirty? No. That needs to change.
And housework? Why do I feel the need to spend every moment of my time off doing something in this house and feel like I've fallen short if I don't? No. No, I don't.
I spent most of this weekend doing absolutely nothing productive. I went to a Sunday School party on Saturday and spent the entire day eating good food and talking to wonderful people. There was no way that I could do laundry, change sheets, clean bathrooms, or dust. It was glorious. I won't even tell you about the beauty of the place, how perfect the weather was, or how much fun we had getting to know each other. You've been there. Just probably not often enough.
I also won't go into how on Sunday afternoon I started feeling pretty lousy and spent the afternoon in my gown watching DVR'ed movies and ignoring my to-do list. Because I did that too.
I think that the secret of being happy is being intentional, of knowing your limitations, and balancing your "have-tos" with your "want-tos" more effectively than I have been doing. Then again, I think that you can rise above your circumstances and experience joy even while you are washing windows or regrouting the bathroom.
I mean, Big Dave certainly does.
I'm going to do my best to continue my quest to be more intentional. To take care of myself and others...but not to be a part of things that I don't have an overwhelming desire to do. I have done so much of that in my life that I can only hope that a tune-up isn't even possible.
And you? Are you like me...or are you in that phase of life where you are still trying to do everything and you are cutting corners on things like exercise, diet, your spiritual walk, housecleaning, relationships, work, yardwork, decluttering, and educating yourself because you just simply do not have the time? Ask for help. Schedule downtime. Breathe. Pray.
Stop and smell the roses, so to speak.
I'll be doing the same thing.