How is it that one year can blend into the next and we can’t even recall what we spent the bulk of our time doing? When I think about how of my life was spent in a perpetual cycle of spinning plates, juggling balls and running from hither and yon, I get tired. Thankfully, I’m off that hamster wheel. There were many years where I literally felt I didn’t have time to even touch down much less spend in the pursuit of “luxury” activities like focusing on life purpose or fulfillment.
In times when you’re moving at light speed, it’s easy to lose track of the fact that this is your life. It’s not your employer’s life, it’s not your kids’ life or your significant other’s life, it’s your life. At the end of the day, when you feel stressed or tired or lost in a fog of exhaustion and frustration, or when your health is being impacted, it’s your life that bears the brunt of the endless activity and frenetic energy.
When you look at your life — I mean really look — what do you see? Is it crammed wall to wall with activity and action? Is it hard to book in one more thing because there is literally no space? If Outlook or your Google Calendar crashed would everything else come crashing down, too?
It’s what can save your life.
The thing I hear most often is, “But, I can’t do anything about it. My kids have so many activities.” Or, “Work is work. I can’t get away from the fact that I have to work longer hours or I can’t keep up.”
The good/bad news is that work will always be work and the kids will always have many opportunities to be active. The other news is that you have choices about both of those things and everything else that seems to hijack your ability to feel energized and excited and passionate about what you’re doing.
But what to do?
1) Create space.
Until you’re willing to create some space to breathe, nothing will change. No matter what you’re currently filling your hours with, you do have some choices. They may be 5‑minute choices, or hour-long choices, but you have choices in how you spend whatever scraps of time you have in your life. These can be the gems of your renewal!
2) Survey and assess.
How can you know what you have to work with if you don’t take a good, hard look at it? And how can you know what you really want if you don’t reflect on it? What are you currently doing that drains you? What energizes you? What would you do if you suddenly came into an inheritance and the money thing was taken care of?
3) Design road maps to beyond crazy.
This part is where many people throw up their hands and say, “I don’t know what I would even do if I weren’t doing this. This is probably all there is.” Good news/bad news? Believe it or not, knowing what you don’t want is really valuable information. If you haven’t done #1 and #2, however, it just isn’t enough to know where to go from here and any road map you create in this state won’t take you where you want to go, anyway. If you have taken the time to reflect and some inklings arise, pay attention. No matter how outlandish something may seem, there usually is a trail head in there somewhere.
Is it important to take these steps? Only you can answer that. It depends on how you crazy your life feels right now and how you would feel if you didn’t have any more time left. Think about that.
The truth is, some people are just addicted to crazy. I was one of them.
And that is a whole other opportunity for reflection.
Originally published at medium.com