Wednesday, January 26, 2005

What do you do when you're overbooked?

So here's what went down: This past December, right when I was engrossed in the red tape of buying and moving into my new home, I suddenly got all these offers for editorial work. Normally I think hard about a project before taking it on, but this time I didn't have the time to do that (or so I imagined) so I went for my default response: Yes, thank you. I'd love to!

Now, I'm overbooked. Way overbooked. So here I am, a coach--i.e. one who helps other people NOT do exactly what I have done--and I'm thinking OK, smart boy, how are you going to dig yourself out of this one?

But as time rushes on and deadlines loom, I realize that this was exactly what I needed right now. That's right. You heard me. I needed to be overwhelmed, because it has forced me to look more deeply into how I really want to live my life. Not just what I want to do with my time, but how I want my life to feel. That's a great question to explore, by the way: How do you want your life to feel? And then, "Who do you have to be in order for your life to feel that way?"

I want my life to feel free, unfettered, and present. I want to have the time to savor my days, and not simply make it to the Friday finish line with all my fingers and toes intact. And to live that life, I have to--have to--shape my life around my values. Not around my deadlines. Not around the pressure of circumstance or other people's anxiety. Rather, around my values...

For me, those values include communion with God, health and fitness, creativity, and fun (among others). Your list may look totally different. But it's the values--the deep down DNA of who we are and what we're called to do in the world--that make life rich and meaningful.

Just today a friend told me that he wants to always look at his life from 10,000 feet up. He wants to keep his eye on the horizon where he'd headed, and make decisions about how he spends his time and energy today that will keep him on course toward the life he really desires. Actually...toward the true life that God created him to live.

I like that. I'm going to use it. After all, a year from now, I won't even remember the looming deadlines that right now seem so huge. But what I will remember is whether I lived life to the full, and whether I lived true to who God has called me to be.

Live true,

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