I was so busy last week, I never had time to mop my kitchen floor. I won’t get into the details (not of the busy-ness nor of the dirty floor), but suffice it to say, it was all my fault. Let’s blame my artistic (okay, flaky) mind, shall we? I simply forgot something very important, and I had to get it done—fast. Some of you may be thinking, “You have a job, a house, a husband, and three teenagers. Aren’t you always that busy?”
Nope, I’m not.
Nothing raises my anxiety more than having too much to do and too little time to do it. And when the things on my list affect other people—like the editing jobs that piled up last week—my anxiety goes through the roof.
I like to have breathing room in my schedule. Despite the fact that I spend a lot of time in my pajamas (one of the perks of working from home), I’m not lazy. I don’t watch TV or hang out on social media all day. No, I write fiction, critique friends’ manuscripts, edit novels, and write blog posts. And I usually have time to make dinner, take the kids hither and yon, visit with friends, and check in with family.
Last week, when my 13-year-old wanted to chat, I had to say, “I’m sorry, buddy, but I have to finish this.” When my husband told me about something that had happened at work, I barely glanced up from my laptop screen, offering the occasional, “Uh-huh” in response.
And what did I miss? Conversation. Connection. Life.
At least a lot of it does. I really enjoy my work, but I love my family. Sometimes, work will get crazy, but if my life becomes so busy that I don’t have time for the people God has blessed me with, it’ll be time to rethink what I’m doing. Because my husband, my kids, my extended family, and my friends—they matter, even more than mopping my kitchen floor.
How about you? Do you have trouble keeping margin in your schedule?
Do you have any tips on how you manage to keep margin in your schedule?
Robin Patchen lives in Edmond, Oklahoma, with her husband and three teenagers. She is the author of two books, Faith House and One Christmas Eve, both Christmas stories. Read excerpts and find out more at her website.