Friday, June 7, 2013

All The Things

I have a lot of interests, hobbies, passions, activities, responsibilities, obligations, plans, dreams, aspirations, goals...let's keep it simple and just call them Things.

Like, seriously, I have a LOT. of. Things.

And I know I'm not the only person who struggles with finding a balance between all their Things. But sometimes I feel like maybe I have too many Things and I should eliminate some of them from the Things Database altogether. (Or, as I mentioned to Amy the other day, maybe I should create some sort of rotation for my Things, where I can focus on a few of them for three months, then switch it up to some others the next three months, and so on. Except obviously that's silly because Things don't just let you put them neatly in a corner to wait until you're ready for them again.)

Let me just give you an idea of how many Things I have (though I'm sure I will forget at least five Things that are equally as important or exciting or unavoidable as these):

hiking marriage book clubs
spinning work singing
group fitness social life baking
martial arts cooking wine tasting
running jewelry making movies
crocheting cleaning concerts
reading games sleeping
small group blogging exploring Santa Barbara
Bible study reading blogs learning Romanian
quiet time/devotions volunteering dancing
church teaching spin crafts/DIY projects

Lately I have been realizing that I REALLY do not have my Things prioritized very well. (For starters, I didn't even include "watching shows on Hulu" in that list, and I do an embarrassing amount of Huluing.)

But here's what happens:

  • I realize I haven't done Thing X in a long time and think, "Boy, I should get back into that soon."
  • I wonder where in my schedule I could possibly fit Thing X without either losing my mind or losing out on some other Thing I'm currently immersed in.
  • I think, "The obvious first step is to stop watching Hulu shows (duh), but somewhere in my schedule I do need some form of downtime, don't I? So what's really so wrong with keeping up with a few shows?"
  • I try in vain to squeeze Thing X in with all my other current Things.
  • Certain Things start falling to the wayside, usually starting with sleep, or devotions, or cleaning.
  • I get frustrated, and I pull back from a whole mess of Things at once and just curl up in my little shell and do stuff that takes little to no effort or interaction, like reading or watching Gilmore Girls on DVD for the umpteenth time.
  • Eventually I start adding Things back in, but I never really manage to figure out a better system, so this cycle just keeps repeating itself.

I don't want to just drop some Things all together, forever. Like, I really do want to teach spinning classes someday, despite the fact that I have only attended a few classes this year and have not made any efforts to get in some practice time as the pretend instructor. And I really do want to go to martial arts more regularly and go up a few belt levels. But can I do both of those Things, realistically? Ever? (And I don't even wanna start talking about how much money I pay for TWO gym memberships, neither of which gets used enough to justify even having ONE of them.)

Can I be passionate about hiking, spinning, martial arts, group fitness, dancing, and running all at once? I know that the most logical answer to that question is, "Of course not - you're not superhuman."

But I am passionate about all of those Things, and those are just the fitness-related ones.

I remember my college pastor once saying something about asking God for a bigger plate when you felt like you had too much on it, but what does that even mean?

All I know is, I have a lot of passions and I can't keep up with all of them. And whatever I am doing now is not really working, because there will always be a chunk of Things that I feel like I'm not doing a good enough job at maintaining. Namely, lately, I feel like I'm letting a lot of stuff take priority over me and Joe, and he should be my number one Thing!

Step Zero has already been accomplished, which was to quit the snooze button. At least now I am no longer in a habit of setting an alarm too early and wasting the first hour of my day fitfully snoozing, which inevitably would lead to lacking energy for the entire day. So, progress! I guess?

Step One is obvious: Quit Hulu or at least reduce it down to like two shows a week.

Step Two is what I haven't quite figured out yet. Should I map out my entire schedule for the week/month, allocating time to each Thing and forcing myself to stick to this rigid system until it starts to happen more naturally? I mean, to some extent I have been trying to do this. I maintain my schedule using Google calendar (which syncs with my phone), and it is WAY more organized than it ever has been before. (It's even color-coded.) But how extreme would this system need to be? And would it take the joy out of all my fun Things?


For the record, this is one of about 37 blog topics that have been floating around in my head lately.  Theoretically getting one post written may help me get on a roll with writing a lot more of the others, but we'll see. I have been having some headaches lately, and I don't know if it'll help to write more and get everything out of my brain, or if it'll hurt more because SQUINTING AT SCREENS and ANALYZING EVERYTHING TO DEATH and stuff.

Funny thing is, I remember not too long ago when I felt like I had basically no serious passions or interests in life and was all, "What is my purpose? What am I doing with my life? Why am I so lame?" And now I feel pretty awesome in a lot of ways; I'm confident in who I am (most of the time), I have some amazing friendships, and I've accomplished a few great things recently. But did the pendulum swing too far in the opposite direction? Is this a case of "Be careful what you wish for"? Or is there an answer that will let me keep doing all (or even most) of the Things?


  1. I'm curious...Why two gym memberships?

    1. Well one is our karate studio. So technically not a gym, but another place where we do exercise and pay a monthly membership fee.

  2. Oh, I see. You and Joe should show us some of your Karate skills next time we see you. :)

  3. Oh boy, just wait till you have kids! ;-) For me personally, having a set schedule works great, since I'm the type of person that thrives under an organized schedule. Maybe you could something akin to the spreadsheets Joe and I created for our Vegas trip 3 years ago? Have a "master" plan spanning a set time period (whether it's a week, or 2 weeks, or a month) but allowing yourself some flexibility in sticking to it? Maybe even prioritize by degree of flexibility: "must-do" (gym, devotions) vs. "like to do" (TV, singing, dancing).

    p.s. I like how you included "sleep" in your list ;-)


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