My schedule is so full. I hardly have time to breathe . I can’t believe how big my to-do list is. No matter how many things I check off, more get put on. I’m just to busy for that right now..
Of course, all of this is code. What it really means is, I’m too busy to have what I want.” And that plain sucks.
It’s socially acceptable to be really busy. To complain about not having enough time and being stressed about the many, many things on our to-do list. Family, work, bills, laundry. There is so much to do and I don’t know about you, but I can always find more.
But, in truth, and sadly, one of the reasons we stay busy because it’s easier to fill our time doing “stuff” than to clear it away, delegate to someone else, or put the little things off until later, than keep focused on what it is we most want. For many of us, we stay busy so we don’t have to worry about being successful.
That sounds wrong and kind of depressing, but it’s true.
So, like you, I’m really busy. And I’m not busy so that I can be seen as “fitting in” and have something to talk about in conversations, I really could give you a good size list of what I need to do, should do, and must do. I have my commitments and occasional deadlines, both of my sons need help with their commitments (I drive more than an Uber driver, I think) and let’s not forget the laundry, groceries, friends and family who all need me and different times.
But that doesn’t mean I’m doing what’s most important.
Although most of the time I can honestly say that I am living by my priorities, just because something is a priority, doesn’t mean it takes a lot of time. My marriage is a priority, but it’s not a time drain, and while my kids do need me, their schedules are somewhat predictable. In addition, since they are teens, they are fairly independent most of the time.
When I’m honest with myself I do have the support and tools necessary to be focused on and spending time on my third priority: pursing my dreams, my heart’s desire. Taking the time necessary to work on my next book, reach out to my readers, and create new content for my website.
I have a lot of great plans. But I also, somehow, also have excuses.
I know that’s true for a lot of us. Come on, admit it with me. Aren’t there days you do the laundry rather than doing what matters most to you? I can even justify it by saying that laundry is something I do for my family and therefore is a higher priority. But that’s not the complete truth.
To stay organized I have a bullet journal and not only do I keep my to-do’s and schedule in there, but I also have my goals, quarterly plans, and book launch schedule. I am clear about what I want to do and, for the most part, why. I know the next books I’m writing, journals I’m creating, and contest I want to run.
And yet the things that don’t get checked off the to-do list, the things that get migrated to the next day, next week, or worse, forgotten are the things that support me and my dreams.
Living your heart’s desire is a big deal. Really.
And it can be hard and feel scary. Laundry isn’t scary. It’s not fun and there’s always more, but it’s definitely not scary.
When I was blogging the other week about the challenges of starting and diving into a project, I found an article on lifehack.com called What’s Stopping You from Getting Started (and What to Do About It) by Dustin Wax. In it he wrote:
We live in a “Just Do It!” society, where the inability to get started is often seen as a moral failure — as laziness or stupidity. The danger of this is that when we find ourselves unable to get started on a project, we assume that it’s because something is wrong with us, and either give up or make excuses to protect our sense of self.
I’m finding this is true when moving forward as well. I – and others – do things to protect myself. When I go for my heart’s desire, I feel vulnerable. Scared and worried both about success and failure, an unfair but real struggle. This is what I want, and the empty achiness of that want is not going to go away if I don’t take the steps to move forward and keep moving forward.
I always go back to the Wizard of Oz. So many things distract and stop Dorothy, from new people she meets to a field of poppies which literally stops her in her tracks. Yet she continues. She accepts that her desire to get home (which is actually to find a place where there isn’t any trouble) is so much bigger than any obstacle whether it be difficult wizards to wicked witches.
I need to accept this about myself as well.
All of us pursing a dream deserves to remember, what we are going for is worth so much more than any distraction, tangent or shiny new diversion. Personal, profession, world changing or life altering. We are NOT too busy to have what we want. And like Dorothy and all her friends – we deserve to have this dream.