Friday, February 23, 2007

The biggest obstacle to a healthy lifestyle

This is an excerpt from Dr. Paul Reisser.

"Wall-to-wall commitments, a frantic lifestyle, two or three jobs (or one job with the demands of two or three), constant noise, too much stuff, mounting debt, nonstop messages flooding your mental in-box, and a constant state of fatigue and anxiety- these are manifestations of living without a margin. Author Dr. Richard Swenson defines margin as "the space between our load and our limits", "the gap between rest and exhaustion", and "the space between breathing freely and suffocating". "

I thought this was interesting. Especially after working until 11:30 pm last night! I'm very guilty sometimes of going right from one thing to the next and not leaving myself any "margin". I schedule Dr. appts. almost to the minute of when I can get there after something else. The world tells us that we can "do it all" and "have it all", but at what price? that of our physical health or mental health?

I want less in my life. I want less stuff. That would make less to buy, less to store, less to clean, less to maintain or replace. I want less debt. That would mean less stress, more security, and more to help others who really need it. I want fewer messages of the world flooding my brain (you need to do this, you should do that) and more of God and his word and praise and worship.

I also want more in my life. I want more peace. I want more quiet times spent with God and in His Word. I want more unstructured/unscheduled days. I want to be open to the opportunities and people God places in my path.

In the past in has been hard for me to say "no" to good things. If someone asked me to do something that was worthwhile, I would say "yes". I went to a Bible study once where they encouraged us to tell the other person "I will pray about it and get back to you". (Of course, then you should pray about and do get back to them). It keeps you from later saying "why did I tell them I would help with that". It's OK to say "no" to good things. God may have better things for you.

I did something this week that I've never done before. I got invited to an educational toy party. I didn't want to go. It was from 7-9 at night. I have threatened to throw away every toy my kids own this week. I don't have the money (which is an excuse that has never stopped me from attending a party). When the lady called to see if I'd be coming, I told her "no, I will not be coming on Wednesday night, but thank you for thinking of me". No excuses. No feeling guilty. Nothing. And she said "OK, thanks". It's OK to say "no".

I probably have more thoughts floating through my head, but this will have to do for now as the boys are really wanting to get up! Have a great day and remember to leave yourselves some "margin".


Crystal said...

That was a good post. I am very guilty of saying yes to things because I am afraid to say no. I like the idea of saying "Let me pray about it and I will get back to you." I need to start thinking and praying things over before I give an answer! Good advice!

Char said...

Wow, you are very wanting! I want, I want, I want! hehe
That was a good post. I'm ok with saying no to things. Sometimes I think I say no too much! I say no to parties all the time. If I didn't, I'd spend a fortune on them. In fact, I have one tonight that I will probably not go to. I had one last Saturday that I didn't go to. I have no problem saying no when it's something to do with spending money. Don't get me wrong, I spend money, but when I sit and think about how frivolous some things are that I buy, I don't buy as much. So I always think "do I really need this?" before I buy it. I know my weaknesses though, so let's not go there. hehe!
Good thought provoking post!

SamandSawyersMom said...

I respect greatly that you need this in your life and you want less. I think that is what we all need to do: find what we need to change, what God is calling us to change and then to work towards changing it. I am kinda the opposite of this in that I am bad about scheduling only one thing in a large amount of time and not using my time wisely. I rarely am over booked. I do a lot but I have TOO much of a margin. I could get more in, clean in between here, do a devotion here, read a book here. Steve and i are so bad at getting everywhere SO early. That is really a waste of time. If we have a doctor's appt for the boys, we schedule nothing else. I can't think of a time, we ran to the doctor's office and then somewhere else. I think either extreme can be a problem. Saying NO has always been a problem for me so I feel your pain. I cringed reading that you told her no. I immediately thought that some woman was probably trying to making money to stay home with her kids and now she will have one less customer. I KNOW THAT IS NOT YOUR PROBLEM but that is where my mind goes.

Char said...

Sonya - that sounds like us too! If I know I have something that day I won't plan anything else for that day. If I have more than a few things to go to or do on the same day I stress out about it. haha! So I'd say I'm the opposite of overscheduling.
I think about the implications of saying "no" too, but you know, you really have to do what is best for you and your family - they are THE MOST important people in your life. I belive that it's ok to have empathy for others, but not to the extreme that it damages yourself or your family. I've learned that lesson the hard way!!!

Lura said...

Actually, her kids are grown and out of the house. She was just raising money for her husband's kidney transplant.

Lura said...

I'm kidding (about the transplant). What if supporting someone else's dreams take you further from your own?

SamandSawyersMom said...

I just said that is where my mind goes...not that yours should.