There are many reasons why we put off doing certain things, and many times those reasons seem to make sense. This week I'm encouraging us all to rethink those reasons, and suggesting that maybe we don't wait.
My advice this week to us all: don't wait
Follow-up from last week
Last week I shared some questions we could ask ourselves regularly to boost our productivity. After I published the episode, I thought of another good question that I’ve been asking myself, and wanted to share it with you. It’s this: What can I let go of today?
This applies in so many ways:
What possessions can I let go of to make my home tidier, fresher, more relaxing, and to free up time spent maintaining and cleaning? As I eat my lunch or walk through the house or sit at my desk, can I look around and find one thing I can put into the donation box I keep in the garage: one piece of decor I don’t really love, one kitchen utensil or appliance I never use, one article of clothing that I don’t feel confident in, one worn towel or sheet set, one book I’ve finished?
What habit can I let go of that doesn’t serve me or those I love? Mindlessly scrolling social media? Binging on junk food when I’m stressed or sad? Staying up too late at night so it’s hard to get up in the morning?
What commitment can I let go of? A standing meeting that serves no purpose? A club or organization that doesn’t have the same meaning now that it did when I signed up? A committee or office I only said yes too because I didn’t know how to say no?
What burden can I let go of? What old resentment or worry or fear or shame or judgment can I finally let go of and replace with a healthier, happier perspective? This might be one of the best questions we can ask ourselves each day: what can I let go of today?
I’d love to know your thoughts on this one. But that’s not the subject of this week’s episode . . .
Don't wait to do the things that make a life that truly matters
Last week Mike and I traveled to Michigan to visit our youngest son. At the airport, waiting for our return flight home, I flipped through a magazine I’d grabbed at the newsstand and read an article I’ve been thinking about ever since.
The article, written by Erica Finamore, who is identified as the Home Director at Real Simple, was titled “Use Your Good Stuff Every Day.” She wrote about growing up in a home with “lots of pretty things . . . that were only to be used on ‘special occasions.’ The fine china was brought out strictly for Thanksgiving, and the crystal vase . . . sat on our baker’s rack collecting dust.” She tells how when she got married, she followed that same approach: their beautiful wedding-gift china and silverware was put away for special occasions that never came, because only a few months after the wedding her husband was diagnosed with an incurable brain cancer from which he died before their third wedding anniversary.
What she writes next is what I’ve been thinking about since reading it at the airport: After his death, she says, “I looked at those untouched things and realized we’d been saving them for a day that never came. Why hadn’t we swapped out our hodgepodge flatware [for the beautiful silverware set they’d received as a wedding gift] or toasted with those delicate glasses? Why didn’t we drag out the fancy coffee machine to fuel us on all those tough days? I realized, too late, that just being together was reason enough to use the good stuff.”
She ends the article with words that we all should take to heart:
“It sounds cheesy, but tomorrow isn’t guaranteed for any of us, so every day we’re here is worth celebrating--and worthy of matching stemware too.”
Important things can get overlooked in the daily hustle. As we approach the end of this year's first quarter, let's pause, think, and commit to spending just a little of our time, energy, and attention taking better care of what matters.
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