When my son who turns eighteen in a few weeks was only four years old, we had a very interesting conversation I will never forget. It had been a hectic weekend for him as we had some family engagement that saw us going from place to place and doing things that were not our normal daily routine. At the end of that weekend, we were all tired!
Now that I think about it, I am sure he was shocked beyond what he could understand when the very next Monday, I woke him up to get ready for school. He took all the time in the world to get up from the bed and I indulged him a bit because I knew how tired he was as I was tired too. However, by the time I realised that if I didn’t get him off to school, I would be tied down and may barely make it to work myself, I had to force the issue. And that was when he asked me the most important question of his life at age four.
He looked up at me, looked eyes with me and mustered all the frustration he was feeling and said to me; “when will all this schooling ever end?’ I mean he was four, schooling had not even begun for him, and he was tired already? I burst into laughter, and then I quickly caught myself and realised that this was a teaching moment, and I better not waste it. I sat him down and explained to him that I felt his pain but that unfortunately, life was a lifelong school. I told him that even when he didn’t have to dress up and go to a formal school, life was still a school and he would never graduate till the end of his life.
With the benefit of hindsight, I realise that must not have been helpful to him, but it was the truth and even though I knew he was only four, I wasn’t going to sugar coat it for him. As I mentioned, he will be eighteen in a few short weeks, and I am sure that advice from fourteen years ago is, even more, valid today than it was at four.
Not only has he not stopped attending a formal school, but he is also more than that forever in the classroom of life.
The point of my post today is simple; regardless of what you face today and how badly you want life to wait for you to catch your breath and take a nap before you continue living, life didn’t get that memo and even if it did receive it, I doubt that life honours that memo.
It is the third week of January 2016, and it already feels like life should halt for a bit so I can catch my breath. It feels like everybody wants a piece of me and unfortunately, I am one person who hasn’t perfected the art of being at more than one place at a time. It breaks my heart when I am unable to take all four client meetings at once or hold a discipleship class every day of the week. It is frustrating that I cannot be reviewing a client’s manuscript and writing my own at the same time. Something always needs to give for another to live. Hmmm!
So life didn’t get the wait memo from you either and for once, life is fair, because I am sure it didn’t get the wait memo from you either. As I pondered on this, I realised that in the end I will have to devise my methods on how to cope and give my best in all the places I am expected to, and I must respond.
Today’s blog is not about deleting something, I have deleted so much, and I am doing my best to live from my core, so if I don’t get this together, I most definitely will regret it. So what can I do?
1. Don’t worry, you will find your rhythm. I was sharing this frustration with my sister, and she said to me, ‘true it is a lot we have to deal with, but the one thing I am confident about is the fact that we will find our rhythm’. That was when it hit me, my son never did get to like school enough not to come home at the end of a school day, but because he recognises the importance, he has distilled his own coping mechanism, and he is doing his best to continue a life of an education, and I will too.
2. What is required is that you give your best. As someone who can be obsessively compulsive, and needs to get everything done and right too. I am old enough to realise that if my room is a mess because I had to use my cleaning time to counsel someone on the verge of a breakdown; it is called giving priority to the weightier matters, and if that earns me a visit from Clean House, it will be a value add and not a loss. I am just trying my best to give my best, I am not even sure I can give my best all the time, but I am willing to try, and that should be enough for you.
3. If it is not possible, then it is not possible for that season. I have to tell myself this, every day. I cannot be who I am not, nor can I give what I don’t have. So when I have done all I can, and it still didn’t come through then my reward will be that I gave it my best and maybe tomorrow or next year, it will work out. So tomorrow is another day.
4. Others are waiting for you to ask for help. There is something I have asked six people for help for in the last six months, and while some were forthright and told me they couldn’t deal with it or don’t know how to, some saw it as an opportunity to fleece me out of money and didn’t deliver the service. But I kept asking knowing that someone somewhere with the solution is waiting for me to ask. And eventually, I got to get to meet this person, and as they say, the rest is history. Some of the things on your plate may just be better handled by others. Ask for help!
As I close this blog today, maybe you are tired, maybe your head is spinning, maybe you have scheduled and deleted and not sure what else to do. I promise you life isn’t going to wait but that if you continue you will ultimately find your own rhythm and even if it doesn’t make sense to others, as long as it makes sense to you, you will be fine. However, when you truly need to stop and take that nap even if life does not stop with you, please do just that, in the end, it is your life and not life’s life.
Till next week, you can leave me a comment below or simply send me a message on my Facebook page here.
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