Fearful isn’t a word I would normally use to describe myself. In fact, I would have said I’m near fearless until a few years ago when I read a book about facing fears (Mark Batterson’s in a Pit with a Lion on a Snowy Day). As we all do from time to time I was reading through this book thinking of all the people I know who need to read it when it smacked me in the face by saying that people who try to control their lives and circumstances do so out of fear.
Oh wait, that’s me. I am a straight up control freak about life. I am scheduled, organized, and OCD to the extreme about pretty much all areas of my life. Or I should say, I was. At the time I was working in events, traveling for work, newly a homeowner trying to do some remodeling and even when I tried not to be, I was a complete control freak.
After reading that book I kept coming back to the same conclusion – I was afraid that if I eased up for even a second, things would go wrong and it would be my fault. See, what I really have is a fear of failure. I’m scared of letting people down. I am scared of ‘dropping the ball’. And as a result I put A LOT of pressure on myself to control outcomes.
Flash forward a couple years and I’ve made some huge life changes. I later left that job and while I would certainly call my current job a ‘career’ – it is not my life. My events job had some really great features and surrounded me with great people and I wouldn’t trade that experience for anything. But I felt in so many ways like that job owned me and I’ve moved away from that in my new career choice. I work hard but I leave my job at the office and have a home life too.
While I’ve never been particularly fond of that ‘help me change the things I can and accept the rest’ mentality there is some truth in to be found there. I’ve changed my career. I’ve made some lifestyle changes. I’ve decided to live without a roommate because it allows me true ‘down time’ when I’m at home. The things I don’t feel like I can change about myself (ie: my love of a clean house) I’ve found ways to accommodate.
What I am still lacking is balance. When I have a week I can’t keep up with the laundry or I fail to get my 6 workouts in, I get discouraged! I still worry about failing and somehow I define not being able to ‘do it all’ as a failure. This year as I purpose to be intentional I’ve determined that I am using that mentality of intentionality to set myself up for success.
So here’s my new game plan:
– I clean for 30 minutes a day. I set the timer and get as much as I can done in 30 minutes. Then I stop. Yep, even if there is still more to do. Done.
– I am using Sundays, which are my day at home anyway, to prep my meals for the week. This way my lunches are packed and my dinners are prepped so that when the week starts and life gets crazy, I’m prepared and I don’t find myself stressed out or eating crap on the go.
– Utilizing mornings. I’ve started using mornings for workouts and bible reading. Because they’re two of my top priorities for the year, this ensures that even if something else doesn’t get done – these do.
I don’t want to overwhelm y’all or myself by making this list too long from the jumpstart here. So for the next few weeks I’m implementing these in hopes that being intentional will help reduce my stress and set me up to succeed. This is how I’m being intentional in February.