We try and try to keep things simple but it is a constant battle!
I am reminded of this in particular during the Fall. School fundraisers, costume making, holiday prep, house chores, school festivals and functions, extracurricular activities, oh, and my life. Work, creativity, sanity. Sanity? After all that?
My philosophy right now is to try and say no to most things unless it improves the quality of life for me or my family. Example? Sometimes I do not have to say yes to: Every playdate (yes, hard to say no sometimes especially if you have an only child but it is not always a recipe for success), shopping for something my daughter wants (diverting ourselves by shopping is not one of my priorities), school events and fundraisers (Yes, it is ok to say no to these! They do not all hold our best interests at heart).
Right now I try and say yes to those things I do not do enough...family bike rides, frozen yogurt excursions (ok, I say yes to this everytime), messy crafts (or unassisted baking), and just sitting and enjoying morning coffee on the patio. Ok, laboring over my daughter's Halloween costume sort of drives me nuts since SHE is the designer and I am the sweatshop. But I figure those are the things we will look back on fondly...I hope!
We get this message a lot...to slow down. But it is something I, in particular, have trouble doing. I would rather be working or knitting. Read: keeping my hands busy and productive. I recently pledged to myself to examine each request of my time and energy, even if it is a brief assesment, and decide if it is worth it. Worth the ensuing bad food choices due to lack of time, worth the crankiness due to exhaustion, worth the expense and yes, worth the loss of our precious daylight hours! It is a tremendous effort, but planning a nice sit down dinner, maybe a game or family movie, a long walk or bike ride, even a drive to see something new...it all sounds so cliche! But as Americans, it is a luxury. One I often feel guilty about. And I am getting betterand better at saying no, thanks.