Are you a juggler? Trying to manage multiple responsibilities, perhaps too many responsibilities? We all multi-task, even those of us (me) who say we hate it and avoid it as much as possible. It’s the way life is nowadays.
But taking on too much will surely lead to stress. Too many things to do clutters up a life that should be lived well. I used to say ‘yes’ to practically everything that came my way, and this was while I worked full-time outside the home. Serve on this committee? Of course, I’m honored you asked. Can you help this weekend for our charity event? Yes, I’d reply, even as I wondered when the laundry would get done.
Now, I work outside the home one day a week, and it’s enough for me. That’s not to say I don’t work while I’m at home. I try to write one good novel every year. I take on editing projects and usually enjoy the work a lot. I participate in the annual A to Z Blogging Challenge (April 2018, and while it might sound like just a lot of fun, I’m a meticulous planner and researcher). I manage our finances, and maintain the house. I don’t make a lot of money, but I’ve learned that I need a lot less than I might have thought I needed years ago, when I earned more.
And I’m learning to say no. Recently, an opportunity presented itself, one that really intrigued me. I wanted to do it, I wanted to challenge myself and succeed at the task. But I knew it would eat up so much time, and more importantly, I knew it would bring stress.
What helps us to live more minimally is recognizing when adding one more responsibility to our already-full plate is one too many. It’s saying no (kindly, politely) to a request for more of our time. It’s then using that freer time to do something that will relieve stress rather than increase it (yoga, walks, reading, cooking, playing with your children or grandchildren, conversations with friends, electronics-free time!).
Getting rid of clutter doesn’t just mean cleaning out the closet.