Saturday, June 4, 2011

Simplicity Habit #3: Know When To Say When

Uncle...Uncle! I give! You know, sometimes, there are times, in life, when we have to know when to say When. Period. Lest we run ourselves ragged. I believe I am seeing the light at the end of the tunnel of such a time. In April and May, as the high school graduation of my oldest child approached, I believe I was single minded in this. No, there was not a ton of stuff that I actually had to do, but it was consuming my mind powers quite thoroughly. There are still more things to do as I believe she may have changed her mind about which university to attend in the Fall...if any. She may hop a freight train to Hibbing MN. Don't ask. But isn't she a cutie?
That's right...

Point is this...Sometimes we have to be willing to let some things go, even if temporarily, for our own sanity. For me, it has been blogging, reading, some church and civic responsibilities and even my daily exercise routine. Don't even get me started on what I have been eating! I am not saying that giving up things we love or letting ourselves go to pot in the name of avoiding overload is a good idea. No, it was more of a gentle setting aside of things that I did not have time or mental energy to focus on, just for a while.  School is now officially out for all four kids and I can take some time to regroup and refocus on the things that really matter to me and to my family.

It means sometimes admitting to ourselves and others that we are not capable of being everything to everyone all the time. It may mean that we have to give ourselves permission to let someone else hold the ball for us and being grateful for people in our lives who can and will do this (Thank you Brenda). Those pleasures and responsibilities will be waiting for us when we get back. In the name of simplifying our lives, sometimes we have to periodically take a moment to evaluate and prioritize what is necessary and what can be dropped, even temporarily. It is not weak to admit that we do not have the time or energy for everything that might be asked of us; to acknowledge that we have limits. When we know what we truly value and prioritize our lives around those things, it becomes easier to admit our limits and to say "no" when we need to. And while our core values likely do not change, sometimes what we are doing needs to. Life happens, and rather quickly I might add. It may be necessary from time to time for us to adjust our priorities around those values. The "to do" list shifts...but not the "to be" list.

For me this shift was a bump in the road, not a lifelong change. Things are more back to I can get back to some of those things that I had to momentarily let slide. Grateful for the break, for friends and family willing to pick up the slack and for knowing myself well enough to know When to say When.

Quote of the Day: "A Pint can't hold a quart-if it holds a pint it is doing all that can be expected of it."
--Margaret Deland novelist and poet


  1. This was a good reminder for me. I think many of us need this reminder - that we can't do and be every to everybody or even ourselves. It's good to recognize the limitations.

  2. Leslie, details on the internet of my personal overload are probably inappropriate, but thank you so much for this reminder...I need to keep it very much in mind right now.

  3. Very nice post! I'm going through the same college/no college/graduation issues. Thanks for this reminder to let things go.

  4. Man I remember that your only 2 summers ago. Way overwhelming. I think it would have been easier if there was a Physical To Do so you could just cross it off and be done with it. But at least my child doesn't think that way. Sounds like yours might not either. It all works it self out. I'm glad you have taken care of you by letting some things go.

  5. LOVE the quote at the end! thank you for sharing that!

    stopping by from MMB =)

  6. I used to be the worst at letting go and/or letting others in to help. It's actually very know that you actually don't have to have and do it all...all the time!

    Congrats to everyone on the high school graduation! Such a milestone and a new beginning ahead for her!

  7. She is lovely. Sometimes it's just so hard to live in the moment!