Dear Younger Self,
I have to apologize to you. I have to apologize to you because I glorified busy. I thought it was great to be busy. Because busy and involved was the way to go right? Saying yes makes a good line on your resume. Saying no gets you nothing.
Or so I thought. But God has a funny way of teaching us lessons that we need and when I got pregnant with Dominic, I pulled back a lot on what I was doing. Partially because my motivation was hard to find, but partially because I didn’t feel well enough to do stuff. I whittled down to the stuff that was really important to me.
And along the way, I discovered some important things that I wish someone had told my younger self. One: It is okay to say no, the world won’t fall apart if you say no – there is someone else who can do those things. Two: It is immensely freeing not to do all the things.
I’ll tell you something though. I still struggle with saying yes to too many things. I still struggle with saying yes to things that I don’t want to do but feel obligated to do. I still struggle with when people ask what I’ve been up to and I don’t have a good answer because we’ve just being doing the same old same old.
I think in some ways it’s tied up to how you view yourself too. When you don’t value yourself, it’s hard to value how you spend your time. You’re looking for anything, anyone to validate that you are important. And if they ask you to do something, you must be important. But you don’t need a full schedule of busy things to prove you are important. You are important because you are a loved and redeemed child of God. Period. No matter how many or few things you fill your day up with.
Let me tell you something else. I love not being so busy. I love having more of my time back to spend how I want to spend it. This life is short and I only have one of them. There is great freedom in saying no. The world won’t collapse, it won’t end, I promise. Sure I may feel boring some days because I’m not doing everything and anything I could be doing. But I’m also less stressed and more relaxed and I rush around less.
Not being busy is a-okay. I wish I could really travel back in time and tell you that. It would save me a lot of stress and heartache.