Did you sing along? At least in your head? 'm sure I haven't heard that song more than three times in the last twenty years, but I knew every word. And the words make no sense! "Will it go round in circles? Will it fly high, like a bird up in the sky?" Will WHAT go round in circles? The melody-less song or the step-less dance? And is that part of the dance - to go round in circles? This song certainly seems to go in circles and repeat itself, although it does have a melody.
There is a point to all this circular talk. Last April, I posted a review of The Grace Impact by Nancy Grace. The book is divided into 30 daily readings, and it was my intention to write some follow-up posts pertaining to my favorite readings:
Over the next few weeks I will be sharing on a few of my favorite lessons from the book and how they touched me. (me - in previously mentioned post)Life got the best of me, however, and I've been running in circles and haven't gotten it done. So, I'm going to claim that when I said "next few weeks", I actually meant "four months from now".
I mentioned the other day that I'm reading "The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up" by Marie Kondo. Part of the author's plan for decluttering life is to hold each and every item I own and gauge whether or not it "sparks joy" in me. Only those things that spark joy should remain in my home. I'll post a full review "shortly" (open for interpretation) but, for now, the point is that my goal has been to thin out all the stuff in my house that isn't necessary or doesn't "spark joy". The whole concept had my mind spinning with visions of the joyous and peaceful space I would soon have. But when I tried to put the plan into motion, I was spinning my wheels. I've been through my house several times over the past couple years and, honestly, it's as de-cluttered as it's going to get. Things may sometimes be out of place, but I'm not a hoarder. I don't have mountains of detritus to wade through, as Ms. Kondo experiences with her clients.
So, if it's not clutter and/or excess possessions, why do I have this vague feeling of unrest about my house? Although it's de-cluttered and clean enough - the beds are made, the dishes are washed, the craft projects are confined to the craft room (mostly), the floors have seen a mop/vacuum in recent history - it never seems to be as "together" as I would like. I never seem to be as together as I would like. The answer was depressingly obvious - I don't manage my time and/or energy effectively. I'm always rushing at the last minute, and disappointed at the end of the day that there's still a stain on the kitchen linoleum next to the dog dish*, the last load of laundry is sitting in the dryer wrinkling, and the weeds are taking over the garden. I don't need to de-clutter my house, I need to de-clutter my schedule. I need to de-clutter my mind.
Ok. Now I'm on to something. Put down the smart phone and pick up a pencil. Make a list:
1. Clorox spot by dog dish
2. Fold clothes
3. Weed the garden
4. Write blog posts you promised 4 months ago.
Now prioritize those items:
1. I'm out of Clorox. Add it to the grocery list. (check)
2. Restart dryer to de-wrinkle clothes. (check)
3. Check weather app - 87 degrees, 80% humidity. The weeds aren't that bad. (check)
4. Ok - blogging moves to the top of the list. I found my notes on The Grace Impact, and randomly selected one of the passages I had marked: Day Sixteen - The Dashboard of Life.
In connecting the dashboard of a car to the dashboard of my life, Nancy likens the speedometer, which measures how fast we are traveling, to time management. Well, that's appropriate!
"We have given our busyness a different name - multitasking. Renaming it doesn't alleviate the stress; it causes more."I recently read (and I apologize that I can't remember where) that "multi-tasking" is actually just dividing our attention between two things and focusing on neither. If multi-tasking was really possible, we would all be texting and driving successfully.
The next dial on our dashboard is the fuel gauge. In order to accomplish the tasks on my to-do list, I need to be well fueled. Proper fuel includes several components, but the number one priority is my relationship with God. A large part of that relationship is - you guessed it - time.
"Beginning the day with reading the Bible and devotionals gives your mind and soul a God-centered focus. This habit is more beneficial than checking the news or your Facebook page, as it can set your heart and mind at peace for the day."Pick up my phone before I pick up my Bible? Would I do that? (I'm trying hard not to look guilty, but I don't think I'm pulling it off.) Which brings me full-circle. I need to "tidy up" all the clutter that comes between my intention to live a life of fellowship with, and service to, God; and the accomplishment of that goal. Nothing else can spark that kind of joy.
* Feeding dogs in the kitchen sparks a rant long enough to be a separate post, but in this small house, there is legitimately no other place for it.