This is my word of the year. OR - two letters. O. R.
Rewind to the beginning of the year. As I listened to the radio on my morning drive time, the local personalities were discussing the trend of selecting a word for the year. One of the personalities after much consideration selected his word to be OR.
At first my hand moved to the dial to change the station. My thought was, "what a crazy choice". Why would one select the word OR? As he started talking about his reasoning behind this word, I started to buy into his idea and soon my hand fell away from the dial. I was hooked, and for the first time, thought, I am going to do this too (pick a word for the year), and I am going to steal his word, OR, because it now makes so much sense to me.
As I listened to his reasoning for the selection of his word for the year, thoughts started to flood my mind of the past year, my life in the last 5 -10- 15 years, and suddenly, I realized OR is a word that has not only been missing from my vocabulary, but in so many instances could have made a huge difference in my decision making processes, my responses to others and in my overall sanity.
When the option to pick up someone else's stressors and make them my own, if the word OR had been part of my frequently used vocabulary, I would have immediately had an alternative solution for running myself ragged, shouldering others chaos, and creating stressors in my life, that didn't need to be present.
As the calendar turned, January into February, my word of the year still present, but on the back burner of my mind, did come in handy a few times. I remembered occasionally that I could either add one more thing to my already busy schedule, OR, I could say no thank you to the opportunity at hand. I could either agree to assist with your situation, and get sucked into your crazy, OR, I could walk away knowing that I did not create that mess and I do not need to fix it.
In the past, my thoughts would be similar to this. I can, and people expect me, to add this extra responsibility to my "to-do" list AND while it will cause me added stress, I will get it done, I always do! I also have voluntarily picked up others burdens, and made them my own in an effort to try and fix the situation or the person. Now I am asking myself, "why does any sane person do this?"
A lifetime of actions and responses that have included adding, adding and adding, have created in me a refusal to acknowledge/understand/regulate my own limitations. That somehow in my mind, I have then elevated myself to someone that can, and will, do any or all things, and be the solution to others issues. I am your "go to gal", the "git 'er done gal".
This is an exhausting way to live life. When I think I need to fix, or do, or work out situations for others, my focus is frayed, my actions are less than 100% for any given item, and I lack intentionality. At the end of my day, my week or my month I feel like I have accomplished nothing and my personal goals and desires are left unmet, and unfulfilled.
I also understand that as a mom, a wife, an employee, a friend, a church member, a committee member or a neighbor sometimes we do have to add that "one more thing", but I would like to encourage you (and remind myself) that there needs to be balance. That the additional things can not take away from our mental, physical, spiritual or financial fortitude. If we can't meet others without depleting our afore mentioned resources, that should be cause for pause. Multitasking is not this great accomplishment that the world makes us believe that it is. We are better personally, and to our immediate family and loved ones, when we are more singularly focused. THIS OR THAT, not THIS AND THAT.
....now that I have explained my word of the year, I will share soon, how this year, OR, has been a good choice for me, and while such a tiny word, is the perfect word of the year for me to wrap my head around as life has been and continues to be crazy. God's timing is everything!