Sunday, September 20, 2009


It’s a beautiful fall day and I’m sitting out on my patio with my laptop, trying to capture a sense of peace, or at least turn off the to-do list in my brain long enough to make some progress on my novel. Yesterday was very busy, and writing went by the wayside. In the five minutes I allowed myself on Facebook this time last week, I saw that fellow writer Loree has been up since 5AM. I don’t know how she does it – I only know that I can’t.

It’s Sunday afternoon, and uncharacteristically, I’ve scheduled too many things to do. Or, more accurately, too many things fell into this beautiful day. As the back-to-school boom is lowered and fall activities fill what was, just a few weeks ago, a blissfully blank calendar, I wonder if I have already overcommitted myself.

I can hear my mother and my sister laughing. My husband too. Of course you’ve overcommitted yourself, they’d say. It’s what you do.

And they’re probably right. Earlier this week, I tried to explain to my students the difference between “I love to be busy” and “My life is busy.” The first one not only implies choice, it states it outright. The second…well, the second one is me. Me and nearly every other mother I know.

The thing is, when I look at my schedule on paper, it’s reasonable. Tight some weeks - last week, for example, was especially crowded, and if I'm to be honest, this week doesn't look a whole lot better - but typically do-able, and even full of things I want to do.

What I need to remember is that I don't need to do it all. My husband is just as capable as I am of chauffeuring my daughter from Point A to Point B, and best of all, he's willing to do so. I just need to let go and be willing to delegate (but that's a subject for another blog....) By allowing someone else to help me, I can build in what blogger Kristi Holl calls "margins," those wonderful moments of quiet time that keep one activity from slamming into or steamrolling over another.

So I'm going to take Kristi's advice and give my schedule, and my family's schedule some serious consideration. In fact, I already have. I'm not yet willing to extract things, but I am going to look for places where I can put in some margins, as well as working on delegating and just saying no.

Stay tuned.

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