It’s kind of scary how many of my posts begin with this phrase…
I have a friend, who…
But I do have a lot of friends, and I enjoy both interacting with them and observing them as they deal with the various challenges of life. It’s that old idea that everybody can either show you how to do something better…or show you how to avoid making things worse.
This particular friend is the former – making things better for herself, and (by example) for others who have the same problem she does:
For some, it’s too much consumption of things that are unhealthy. For others, it’s too much keeping of things they don’t need. Some have the TooMuchitis of buying, or watching TV, or the ever-present Social Media. But this friend in particular (along with, now that I think of it, a large percentage of the rest of my friends) has the variety of TooMuchitis in terms of doing.
That is to say: she does a lot. And on any given day, in addition to the things that she already wants to do, she will often find new things she wants to do. Thanks to the illusion of Google Calendar it looks like we can subdivide and rearrange our hours in the day with absolute precision; however, as she (and many others) find to their frustration, reality isn’t shaped like that.
Yet. There may come a time when you put an event on your calendar and there’s a pop up that says “Sorry, you won’t have enough energy for that. Maybe schedule a nap instead?”
Until that happy (and scary) day, though, she has to deal with the case of TooMuchitis in a different way.
Sometimes You Have to Give Something Up
Believe me, I know, it’s hard. This blog in particular is something that I’ve considered giving up more than once – and there’s still a voice that tells me I should. More than once I’ve sat down with a blank sheet of paper and a pen, determined to finally focus and “kill my darlings” and give up on some of the things so that I can do some of the other things better. In fact, I even enlisted the help of my Mastermind partner one week, and she asked me, every day, what can you give up today to make other things better?
The answer, day after day, was nothing. It’s a problem, I tell you, the malady of DoingTooMuchitis.
Back to my friend, though. She was smarter than me, and found a way to change the drudgery that was creeping in on one of her projects (anatomical embroidery, believe it or not). She had found that in her desire to do it “more, better” she’d started thinking of it as a business…and that meant that the joy got sucked right out of it. It’s a common refrain from the “follow your passion” crowd, but she figured out how to beat it.
What she does is limit her access to it. Rather than making it a daily habit, or creating an easy environment for it, she makes it a special occasion. The act of taking things out, of setting aside the tools and making the space and prioritizing the time lends a sacred kind of joy to the ritual. And by doing it less often, she gives herself the opportunity to miss it.
It’s not quite scarcity – because she knows that there will come a time when she can take out these projects and work on them. “Though it be not now, yet it will be. Which not only increases the joy of the doing, but also leaves space for the doing of the other stuff.
Which, like all of us, she still has too much of. One step at a time, though, right?
If you liked this post, how about clicking that sweet little heart down below and maybe sharing it with friends? Do you suffer from DoingTooMuchitis? Tell us about your symptoms in the comments.