My answer is, “I don’t.” But from the smiles, nods and looks I get I don’t think people believe me.
Honestly people, I can’t do it all. Or as they say in the South, “Bless your heart” for thinking I do.
Some things I haven’t done lately.
- Put away my laundry.
- Dealt with the pile of mail in the kitchen.
- Painted my fingernails. (Haven’t done this in a year.)
- Returned some calls. (Yeah, need to do that.)
- Cleaned my bedroom/office.
- Helped my son figure out college stuff for this fall.
- Finished some e-books that are mostly done.
- Shopped. At all. Okay, I get groceries, but that’s about it.
- Had weekly date nights with my husband as I know I should.
- Watched TV–even the shows I really, really like.
- Called to talk to long-distance family.
- I also had to say no to some awesome church events I wanted to attend
- but just couldn’t squeeze in.
These are all things I have on my “immediate to-do list.” Well, not the shopping. Although I know the girls in my house would really like a day out with me.
Work-wise. I don’t do it all either.
Right now I have a book I really need to finish and another book I need to do edits on. (And two more that need my attention asap but are patiently waiting their turn.
There are blogs I need to write and marketing tasks I REALLY need to get busy on. In fact I’m having a booksigning in a few weeks and I better spread the word or I’ll be sitting in the store alone that day. Sigh.
I’ve had to say no to two writing projects editors approached me about recently. Things I really wanted to do but just don’t have the time for.
Yes, my “done” list is impressive at times, but the battle rages within when I know there is so much more “want to” than I have time or energy for.
For the most part I’m learning to be okay with not being able to do everything. I have a list in my mind of things that are most important and I focus on these:
- Time with God each day.
- Some type of exercise.
- Morning prayer and conversation with my husband.
- Story time, snuggle time, bath time, play time with my toddler.
- Having at least one “focus-on-their-eyes” conversation with each person in our home. There are 11 people, so this alone takes a while.
- I work on my most important emails and most important deadlines.
- I try to work on “future work”–like ideas and proposals to keep the ball rolling.
- We have dinner together as a family and hang out time, too, every day.
So, do you believe me now that I don’t do it all? And I hope you’ll be encouraged, too. There’s always a balance with what we can do, need to do, and make it a focus to do. The only way I can stay somewhat balanced is to focus on Jesus, keep my eyes on Him, and have Him point out what’s most important. Sometimes that’s getting my house in order so I can offer hospitality and sometimes it’s jotting off an idea and sending it to my agent, even though twenty other emails seem more important at the time.
Jesus knows what is important and I need to trust that. As I turn my mind to Him during the day my mind has peace as we walk side-by-side–even if we’re walking past a pile of mail or laundry that day.
Danielle Lynn says
Yea… I haven’t put my laundry away either. Sometimes I wonder how my weekly blog posts even find their way onto my site!
Tricia Goyer says
I read your post and realized, Oh my word, I have laundry to put in my dresser! So, I finally did that today. Thanks for the reminder 🙂
I understand that to do list. It seems to always get longer even when you cross something off.
Robin @ Pink Dryer Lint says
I just found your blog and enjoyed this post a great deal. I’ve been blogging about priorities lately after giving a talk on the topic, and your post accentuated what I’ve been thinking.
Thanks for sharing your wisdom!
Tricia Goyer says
So glad it could help!! Thank you!
The Pennington Point says
EGG-zactly! I get asked this question too often and I think, “Are you kidding?! There’s a pile of Goodwill clothes in the corner of my bedroom that’s been sitting there for a year!”
Ya can’t do it all sista and you should try.
Thanks for saying it so well, Lisa~
Cara Putman says
Great Post. May have to steal the idea. We don’t do it all…I just wish we could.
Carla Laureano says
I was just crying to a friend how, as much as I’d love to be Supermom, I just can’t do it. Some weeks I’m lucky if the kids have clean clothes and there’s food in the house for dinner. Oh yeah, and my agent is waiting on a manuscript from me. Thanks for reminding me I’m not the only one!
Barbara Hartzler says
It’s nice to know that even those who look like they do it all, don’t really do it all. I’ll try to remember that the next time I’m tempted to play the comparison game. It takes some pressure off the rest of us. Phew! Much better now. 🙂
I’ve ready many versions of this post from many people, but I like your so much because you paint a real picture of what you’ve “slacked” on, and what you prioritize. It is so encouraging–not for comparison sake, but for genuine evaluation, to see how someone you respect chooses to spend their time, and the priorities they make. Thanks for sharing!
Tricia Goyer says
It’s easy to compare, but no one can do it all. I think when we’re honest with each other we all fell better about ourselves. God will show us what to focus on if we ask!
Laci Bridger says
I feel better now that I’m not as bad of a wife as I thought. I put away laundry about once a week, it gets piled quickly with a 6 and a 7 year old running around thinking they have to change because they missed their mouth with their water. (Girls of course) one of the things that is low on my priorities is mopping. Unless something is spilled and sticky it usually doesn’t get done. My girls need the quality time more than a sparkly clean floor every day. This morning they wanted me to do extra bible study with them on their Awana books, so I did, among the piles of toys and clothes that needed to be put away! I’m just glad I’m not the only one!
Tricia Goyer says
It sounds like you’re making the right choices, Laci!!