Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Blowing Out the Candle...At Least At One End

I tend to over do it. No matter what I do. I don't set out to overextend myself. It just happens. There are so many areas of my life that I value. From my career to my family and friends to my interests I want to make sure I give a “slice of life” to all of these ventures. The trouble comes when all these “worlds” collide because I have not chosen a balanced path—hence--where I find myself today.

I just returned from a short vacation where I was able to gain a bit of perspective. I am in a different place than many of my friends. I am the only one of my close friends who still has children at home. Chanman is in every sport and active, which I love, but it takes a certain energy to keep up. Carpool, games, meetings and practices scatter every day. Then, I am a full time educator who needs to spend time planning and preparing for my students. Additionally, I am co-president of our Education Association and feel this is an significant leadership position. Just when I think I may be released from the ministry to those who have lost a mate, I realize this a major passion in my life. Not to mention the aspects of laundry, house work, exercise, keeping my marriage fresh, nurturing my spiritual life and being whole for my family and friends. SOMETHING has to change.

As I type these things I know that there are many of you who can so relate to what I am saying. The time has come to set priorities. It's time to stop burning the candle at both ends. The time has come to create a balance which can create a sane existance.

One thing that I need to let go of is stuff that doesn't matter-those peripheral obligations and relationships that may be worthy, but are not at the epicenter of my values. Next, I must decide what ventures I want to expend the most amount of energy. These areas are easy—my family, my friends, my classroom, my health and my passions. My goal should be to expends the greatest energy to the areas that will make the greatest difference years from now.

In practical terms this means some things will have to go, even some major commitments. I don't like making commitments and then changing my mind, but I believe this to be necessary. Do I think this is the last time in my life that I will be faced with making these decisions? Probably not, because this is not the first time.

Apparently Buddha had it right "The secret of health for both mind and body is not to mourn for the past, worry about the future, or anticipate troubles, but to live in the present moment wisely and earnestly". I am choosing to begin to live “wisely and earnestly” and to burn out the candle, at least at one end.