A friend recently commented that she didn’t know how in the world I did all of the things I do in this busy season of my life with three young daughters at home & working part time. My response was, “I don’t really do more things, I just draw more people in to what I already do.” I also shared that I am far from having it all together. There are still many things that aren’t checked off my list pretty much every day BUT I’m determined to ENJOY my life along the way. There is no prize for the woman who has a spotless house but didn’t enjoy her day. It was after my friend’s question that I realized this sanguine extrovert might be on to something that’s worth sharing. So here are my tips for enjoying more without adding more stress and chaos to your life.
I’m indeed a social person. I’m energized by being around people and have always had a “the more the merrier” attitude. But when I became a mom, I found motherhood to be isolating at times. It’s easy to fall into your own little mommy-child bubble but being the extrovert that I am, I still wanted to see tall humans and invite more little humans into the mix. I just needed to do it in a way that didn’t take away from my sleep, interrupt the sacred nap time, or in general add more stress or chaos to our already full schedule.
So I found a way to make it work! If you are desiring more in-person connection with real-live people in your life:
#1. Make a list of the things you are already doing or want to do.
#2. Make a list of the people you want to spend more time with or get to know better.
#3 Consider creative ways to connect #1 with #2.
It really is that easy! Here are some examples of how I’ve done this successfully:
- Add more people to what you are already doing: Join a group Bible Study like BSF.org that has child classes at the same time, have regular Girls’ Nights and play dates for you and kiddos, mentor others at home and invite them into your routine, have meals with neighbors and friends, invite others to join you in doing activities you love. (For me that is Bible Art Journaling, DIY art projects, singing/music/concerts, taking walks, attempting to organize my family pictures, etc.)
- Get connected with your neighbors: The more connected you are to your neighbors, the less time you and your family will spend commuting in order to connect! More play time, less drive time. Win-win! Consider inviting them over for dinner, going on regular walks together, and inviting them to bring their kiddos over to play in your court. It doesn’t have to be a big event with a spotless house. Just invite authentic community into your life.
- Add accountability to tasks you just don’t like to do: Have “blitzes” with your friends for added accountability on projects you don’t want to do but know you need to do. Call each other, share what boring tasks you need to tackle, and then check in with each other once you’ve completed your projects. It’s a great reminder that you aren’t the only person in the world de-cluttering and doing boring yet necessary work. Social Media can make you feel like the rest of the world is always enjoying a vacation! Blitzes make you feel less alone while you’re doing the hard tasks.
I hope you’ll really get creative with these tips for enjoying more without adding more stress to your life. An added bonus of this exercise, is the opportunity to weed out activities that don’t bring you joy in this season of your life. If there are things on your #1 list that you DON’T enjoy doing, then stop doing it. Pray about it first and do your best to exit gracefully but don’t just keep doing something because you’ve always done it or because you’re afraid no one else is willing to do it.
We only get 24 hours a day and YOU get to decide where those hours are invested. Yes we all have responsibility and work that needs to be done but there is no law that says you can’t enjoy as many of your hours as possible along the way.
Share with me your favorite tips for enjoying more without adding more stress to your life. What tips can you share with us?