Spiritual Baby Steps

"Doing" spirituality in the real world

How Much is Too Much?

I thought about quitting the blog this week. I’ve been feeling really overwhelmed lately and to top it off, I got a cold that started last Thursday and hasn’t quite subsided yet. It’s made me even more exhausted than usual. Of course, my body’s cry for rest did not slow me down… I continued to work, teach a class at my kids’ school, attend a training, facilitate a group event, attend my son’s hockey game, visit my friend and, just for fun, allow my kids to both have play dates at our house… at the same time! And by the way, the dishes and laundry weren’t doing themselves.

You can bet I was feeling appreciative yesterday when my husband offered to do the grocery shopping! We made dinner and then I went to bed… it was 8pm. As I drove to work today I thought about all of my commitments. I realized that much of the “extra” activity in my life is of my own choosing. I love to write.  I enjoy blogging. I get a lot of satisfaction from teaching others and connecting with people.  Part of me can’t imagine not doing all of the things that I do… and another part of me is just plain exhausted and wants to put on the brakes. How do you know how much is too much? And once you’ve realized that maybe you’ve tipped the scales just a bit much… how do you know where to nip and tuck?

Do I give up the art class? I’m really enjoying it, but the reality is that I’m not an inspiring artist and it does mean one night a week I miss out on the family scene. Do I stop blogging? I would definitely miss the outlet, but more than that, I would miss the people I run into who comment on how much they enjoy my posts. In fact, the nudge to continue writing tonight came in the form of a text message. I was at work today and a friend of mine sent a text message asking the name of my blog… she had read it once and really wanted to read more. When it comes to personal fulfillment, it really doesn’t get much better than that! Should I put my endeavors to write a book on hold? It’s something I’ve always wanted to do and I’ve actually started the process… I have actual drafts… it seems a shame to stop now!

I could go on… and on.. but you get where I’m going with this, right? I want to do it all… Is that wrong? I didn’t think so… until I started reading a book called Daring Greatly by Brene Brown. Now I’m wondering if there isn’t more to all this business than meets the eye. According to Brene, the obsession with constantly being busy shields us from vulnerability. It’s a way of keeping yourself from feeling… from slowing down… from deciding what’s important enough to devote your time to. Hmmmm…. maybe. I certainly don’t do too well at resting (if you’ve forgotten, refer to intro paragraph!). What would it mean to say No… to cut back on commitments… to allow some space in my world? The fact that I can’t quite imagine it makes me wonder if there isn’t something to this!

How do you find balance? Where do you land on the business spectrum? Please… share!  Here’s to another week!!  ~Rashel

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8 thoughts on “How Much is Too Much?

  1. I only subscribe to a few blogs, tonight I read yours and one other….both with basically the same message.
    http://chasingwellbeing.com/2013/01/29/give-up-the-american-dream-and-be-happy/
    I think the word is serendipity. Yes it is, I just looked it up. :-)
    How may other people can see that the Emperor’s new clothes look a little on the light side?

    • Hi Jerry… thanks for sharing the other blog post… very similar… nice to know I’m not the only one! Feeling a little more sane this week – for whatever reason. I always appreciate your thoughtful comments! ~Rashel

  2. suburbanworkingmom on said:

    Rashel, I couldn’t agree more! As Jerry mentioned, I just published a post in the same vein. Interestingly enough, I recently also listened to a podcast by Brene Brown on vulnerability. I have struggled with this same thing for years. I share some ideas about how to slim down in my post (chasingwellbeing.com), but also thought of another great piece of advice my husband gave me that has helped me a ton: schedule downtime. By this I mean leave at least one weekend a month (if not two) unscheduled. The same goes for week nights. This doesn’t mean I don’t still do the things I like, but I just schedule them out a bit further in between. I once read that if you’re obligated to doing something, even if you’re the one that made that obligation, you won’t find it as enjoyable. And this has been so true for me. On those ‘unscheduled’ nights, sometimes I rest and recover, but sometimes I knock off a big task on my wish list, or go on an adhoc outing with my kids (or friends), and it feels so much better when I have the choice that day! Good luck to you. :)

    • Thank you! Such good advice (I guess I should say thanks to your husband!). I just looked at my calendar and I have definitely not implemented the one unscheduled weekend per month idea… and I think I might not be able to commit to that until April… but alas, I like the idea and will see about instituting it! I checked out your blog… and subscribed. I like your writing and look forward to reading more of your posts. Thanks for commenting! ~Rashel

  3. Such good questions. Balance is a never ending quest but as I move through life I’ve learned a thing or two. I really agree with suburbanworkingmom. I try to allow or plan for at least 2 unscheduled weekends a month – sometimes, away, sometimes at home. I also do not pack my weeknights with activities. I save one night a week for my granddaughter, Lucia, and another few nights for short walks with friends. Friday night is for Zydeco dancing. Some of my best weekends have been completely unplanned. Serendipity takes over. Now that I don’t have kids at home all of this has become much simpler. Not easier. Just simpler.

    Keep on writing, Rashel. If we’re lucky, life is long. More time will open up as you go.

    • Thanks, Eleanor. I do look forward to the “opening of time” however… I do think I need to get better about allowing space… otherwise I can see myself just filling that space with more to do!! I love the idea of more allowing… more serendipity opportunities! ~R

  4. Marjorie Johnson on said:

    I feel there is a time for everything. When your kids grow up, you will be so grateful that you spent time with them-Quality time. Then there is time for whatever comes next in your life. I have come to believe that peace is a very important part of life and busyness may rob us of that peace if we are always busy. Oh well, just a thought from Grandma who has lived a long time and think I have learned a few things along the way. Love You and am very proud of you!

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