We lead such busy lives, today. We are surrounded by clutter. We buy too much and spend too much and eat too much and leave too much lying around.
Yes. I admit that I’m as guilty as anyone else. I have to make a conscious effort to clear my desk every night. I have to make a conscious effort to put things away. And I don’t always succeed.
But the biggest clutter comes from other people. How often have you planned some activity, only to answer the telephone and hear the pleading voice confirming that you are the only person in the whole wide world who can help and it’s really, really, desparate, and if you don’t help the caller doesn’t know what he or she will do?
And how many times have you given up your day out to go and help, only to find that it was something that could have been put off till another day?
That’s why we need to schedule personal time every week. We need time for our immediate family – which does not include the children who have left home. And we need time for ourselves, too. We need to protect that time. Don’t let anything trivial get in the way. We have our own needs to take care of. And if we don’t look after ourselves, we will not have the resources to look after anyone else.
This is where we need to learn the power of ‘No’. We need to learn that our time is precious and must be protected. Yes, there will be emergencies. But as one fridge magnet puts it, “Bad planning on your part does not constitute a crisis on my part.”
After all, there will always be other opportunities to look after the grandchildren; opportunities when you can plan fun activities, rather than being stressed about what you cannot do or should do or could be doing.
De-clutter your schedule – learn to say, “No.”